Causes of Overbites and Underbites

Did You Know

Many people suffer from an overbite or underbite – it is the most common orthodontic issue. Parents in Houston Tx often ask, “Why does my child have an off-set bite?” Dr.Davoody explains what causes these problems, both of which can be treated with orthodontic care.

An overjet, also commonly known as overbite, is present when the upper jaw overlaps the lower jaw. Overbites tend to be more common than underbites and are the most common malocclusion in children. A normal overbite sits 3-5 mm between the teeth. When this gap begins to exceed 5 mm then an abnormal overbite has formed and treatment is necessary to correct the issue.

An underbite, also known as mandibular prognathism, is present when the lower jaw protrudes beyond the upper jaw. An underbite causes the lower jaw to be more protruding, so it affects one’s appearance greatly.

An underbite and overbite can both be genetically passed to a child. Habits that can worsen the conditions include prolonged pacifier use, thumb sucking, and tongue thrusting or bad chewing habits. These are all habits that are hard to control in young children. If a child has adenoids or allergies that cause him or her to breath through their mouth this can develop into an underbite.

Physical appearance is not the only side-effect of an underbite or overbite. These bite problems can cause speech difficulty, chewing problems, and difficulty swallowing. Over time, headaches can develop due to stress on the temporomandibular joint, or jaw bone joint.

During a consultation at Greater Houston Orthodontics we can discuss if any bite issues are present. During the consultation we can then create a plan and discuss early treatment if necessary.

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