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Overbites, Underbites, and Crossbites: Everything You Should Know | Orthodontics, Wichita, Kansas

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Overbites, underbites, and crossbites are all considered malocclusions or types of bite disorders and may be caused by genetics or a variety of other underlying factors. When working with an orthodontist to get your smile corrected, it is important to understand your condition so you can be involved with the process every step of the way. Our team at Cambridge Family Dentistry is experienced in orthodontics in Wichita, Kansas, and has detailed the differences between overbites, underbites, and crossbites. Learn more about the conditions and their treatment options below!

  • Overbite

    An overbite, often referred to as a “deep bite,” is a condition where a patient’s top teeth protrude farther from the mouth than the lower teeth. Many times, overbites can be caused simply by genetics but may also be influenced by various other lifestyle factors such as prolonged thumb sucking or bottle and pacifier use during childhood. Additionally, older children and adults may later develop an overbite due to excessive nail-biting or chewing on foreign objects like pens and pencils. Although small overbites are normal, anything exceeding five millimeters in distance should be observed by your dentist and orthodontist. If your overbite becomes more severe than this, It may begin causing jaw pain, headaches, difficulties eating, and alter your entire facial structure.



    The most common treatment methods for an overbite correction require orthodontic services, with some instances calling for the extraction of specific teeth. Only severe cases will require extraction, and many times an overbite can be corrected by braces, clear aligners, and other orthodontic appliances. At Cambridge Family Dentistry, our team recommends consulting with a dental provider experienced in orthodontics to determine which option is right for you and your smile!

  • Underbite

    An underbite is considered a misalignment of a patient’s lower jaw, which causes the bottom teeth to protrude farther than the top set of teeth. As seen with the formation of overbites, underbites can also be caused by various genetic factors or may result from excessive tongue thrusting, mouth breathing, or other childhood behaviors like prolonged bottle usage or thumb sucking. Depending on the severity of your underbite, you may begin to suffer from Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder, leading to chronic headaches, earaches, toothaches, speech problems, and difficulties eating.



    Similar to the treatment of overbites, underbite corrections typically require orthodontics and may require surgery for more severe cases. If teeth crowding is an evident issue, your orthodontist may recommend extracting specific teeth and straightening them with braces to better correct the malocclusion.

  • Crossbite

    While overbites and underbites are most common among patients, crossbites may occur when there are irregularities on the surface of your teeth. If you suffer from a crossbite, your teeth will be tilted either towards your cheeks or your tongue, preventing your other teeth from meeting at the correct angle. Because there isn’t much you can do to avoid developing a crossbite, it is important that the condition is detected as early as possible to ensure that the jaw can still grow symmetrically. If not, your jaw may become more difficult to fix over time, and your condition will become visibly noticeable.



    Treating a crossbite usually involves braces, clear aligners, or dental appliances like palate expanders, but in some cases, it may include oral surgery. Our team at Cambridge Family Dentistry has team members experienced in orthodontics in Wichita and recommends speaking with your dentist and orthodontist to understand your options fully!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in all articles published on the Cambridge Family Dentistry website do not necessarily reflect the views of our staff members at Cambridge Family Dentistry.

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Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists experienced in orthodontics in Wichita and learn more about our comprehensive family dentistry. We look forward to caring for your smile!
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