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Difference Between Overbite, Underbite and Crossbite

Problems with bite are a common reason for you to visit an orthodontist. The problem related to bite are not limited to oral health alone. In fact, the bite can affect your breathing and speech too. If not treated in time, bite problems can affect your facial appearance as well. But before you visit an general or emergency dentist for getting your bite related issues resolved, it is better to know what are the different bite problems that you might have. Below is the basic difference between different types of bite problems.


Overbite is the most common bite problem people suffer from. In this situation, your upper teeth overlap the lower ones. A small overlap between the upper and lower teeth is normal. But when this overlap increases, it can create problems. A huge overlap between the upper and lower teeth is called deep overbite.  A deep overbite will wear down the lower teeth faster (I’ve seen someone who’s lower teeth were worn down TO THE GUMS).  Generally, an overbite pushes your chin back towards the jaw joint sometimes leading to jaw pain or clicking. There can be various reasons for having an overbite. It can either be hereditary or can be caused due to thumb sucking during your childhood days, prolonged bottle feeding, nail-biting and many more.


An underbite is opposite of overbite. Here, the lower teeth are ahead of the upper teeth. This type of bite issues are not common but can have severe effects. An underbite can give you headaches, ear pain, and facial pain, to name a few. The chin is pushed forward in an underbite. Like overbite, the reasons for underbite are also quite similar- wearing down or chipping the upper teeth, affecting breathing and facial appearance.


When an entire side of your upper teeth fall inside the lower teeth, it is called as a crossbite. When only the front teeth fall inside, it is called as an anterior crossbite. In simple terms, the lower teeth are closer to the cheeks giving space to the upper teeth to fit inside them or vice versa. Though very rare, crossbite can occur if the baby teeth do not fall off promptly. The stress caused by crossbite can lead to various gum diseases and other dental problems. Deviation of tooth position or an abnormal jaw is the main reason for having a crossbite.

Bite problems are affected by childhood habits. Taking proper dental care from a young age is hence, important. If the bite is not treated, it can lead to problems like jaw pain, headaches, facial pain, shoulder and back pain, tooth decay, cavities, erosion of enamel, and many more. Bite problems can be solved using braces, Invisalign, and other dental procedures. We encourage to see children at a young age to correct habits that affect jaw development and teach muscle exercises for proper growth.

If you are facing any issues with your bite, it is better to get it diagnosed in time. Ignoring the bite can make your overall health to suffer. Contact the emergency dentist in Edmonton to know more about overbite, underbite, and crossbite.