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Types & Common Problems of Teeth Bites in Children & Adults

Posted in Adults, Braces, British Columbia, Children, Clear Aligners, General, Invisalign, Orthodontics, Teens, Tips & Advice

A bad bite, also called a malocclusion, occurs when the teeth are misaligned, and this can present itself in several ways. In today's post, our BC orthodontists share some common problems adults and children may experience with their bad bite.

Types of Teeth Bite Issues

With a normal teeth bite, your top teeth should sit slightly overlapping the bottom, and the back teeth should fit together like a puzzle. If this is not the case, you have misaligned teeth.

Most patients have heard of overbites and underbites, there are actually several kinds of bad bite issues that a patient may experience. These bite misalignments can cause a patient to experience TMJ soreness, headaches, trouble speaking, and teeth grinding.

Our orthodontists at My ORTHODONTIST would like to share the different types of teeth bite problems children and adults may encounter, all of which our team would be happy to treat.


As previously mentioned, with normal jaw alignment, teeth should have a slight overbite with the front top teeth sitting over the lower front teeth. However, if your molars don’t fit together and your top teeth stick out quite a bit further than your bottom teeth, you might have an overbite misalignment.

An overbite vs normal bite can lead to tension in your jaw and face muscles, causing headaches. It can also cause difficulties chewing your food or cause uneven wear on your tooth enamel.


The opposite of an overbite is an underbite. An underbite is when your lower jaw extends past your upper jaw, causing your lower teeth to stick out past your upper teeth. Genetics and bad habits from childhood like prolonged thumb-sucking and tongue thrusting can be a factor in an underbite.

Underbites are less common than overbites, but can still lead to the same jaw stress and chewing difficulties. You may even experience sleep apnea with an underbite or difficulty enunciating certain words or sounds.

Cross Bite

A cross bite doesn't always affect an entire row of teeth, it can happen to a single tooth or a group of teeth. A crossbite is when upper teeth bite inside your lower teeth and it can happen with back or front teeth.

A cross bite may develop if your baby teeth didn’t fall out during childhood, or if your adult teeth had a delay in erupting. In these cases, your jaw and other teeth respond by developing a crossbite.

Open Bite Teeth

There are two kinds of open bites, but both result in the upper and lower teeth not touching. One kind is when your front top teeth don’t touch or slightly overlap your front bottom teeth. The other kind of open bite is when your back top and bottom teeth don’t touch each other when your mouth is in a resting position.

Open bite teeth can cause discomfort and result in a lisp, your tongue resting in an odd position, your teeth showing irregular wear, and difficulties chewing and swallowing.

Deep Bite

A deep bite Deep bite is a form of malocclusion in which the upper row of front teeth completely and excessively overlaps the bottom front teeth when the mouth is in a resting position. This orthodontic concern is sometimes referred to as a closed bite or overbite.

This can result in the bottom teeth poking up into the roof of the mouth, and the top teeth biting down on the front of the lower gums.


A protrusion is when the front teeth stick out and give the appearance of 'buck teeth'. Teeth may appear protrusive because the upper jaw is too far forward, the lower jaw is too far back, the teeth grew in at an angle, or a combination of these instances. It is not uncommon for people who have protrusive front teeth to also experience a deep bite.


Crowding is the result of insufficient space for the teeth within the mouth. This can be caused by big teeth, inadequate space in the jaw, or both. This may result in teeth that overlap, are rotated, or take on a crooked/staggered appearance, all of which can cause it to be quite difficult to maintain your oral hygiene.

Spacing or Gapped Teeth

Gap teeth will often occur when your jaw is larger than the size your teeth require. It may also happen when your teeth are smaller or some are missing. If you’re missing your lateral incisors (the teeth on either side of your two top front teeth), this can also cause gaps between teeth.

Have an Orthodontic Issue? Don't Worry!

All of the bite issues and misalignments that have been mentioned are treatable. Our BC orthodontists have plenty of experience dealing with all of the issues in children, teens, and adults.

We can treat your bite problems using braces or Invisalign clear aligners depending on your situation. We can also help treat the symptoms of some of these issues such as sleep apnea. 

Are you looking to have your bad bite issue resolved? Contact our BC orthodontists to book a consultation. We can't wait to help you get your smile back on track!

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