Is it really bad to have an over- or underbite?

iStock 1172711906 If you have an over- or underbite, you are probably used to it and don’t even realize you have one until your dentist points it out to you. However, if your bottom and top teeth don’t fit together as they should, it can eventually cause a variety of problems. Luckily, there are treatments available. 

What are underbites and overbites?

An overbite is when your top teeth extend over your lower teeth. Having a minor overbite is actually very common. An underbite is when the lower teeth extend out under your upper teeth. There is also a third type of misalignment of the jaws, a crossbite, which occurs when the top teeth are too close to the tongue or cheek. 

These may seem fairly harmless, but if the misalignment is severe enough, it can lead to difficulty chewing, sleeping, and breathing, jaw pain and strain, headaches, earaches, and tooth problems such as cavities and decay. Correcting a misaligned bite can also result in dramatic changes to the structure and shape of the face. 

How is a misaligned bite treated?

Years ago, the treatment options for a misaligned bite were either surgery or clunky and embarrassing headgear. Nowadays, however, there are many less invasive and more comfortable options. Traditional braces can help, as can Invisalign, clear acrylic trays that move your teeth slightly but are basically invisible and are very easy to take care of. Arch orthodontics are another option. These work by expanding the jaws and creating more room, so bottom and top teeth can align. Full-mouth restoration is another option – this can include implants to replace teeth and techniques to fix damaged teeth that not only help with a misaligned bite, but can make teeth healthier and give you a whole new smile. 

You may not even realize you have a misaligned bite until you start having headaches, jaw pain, or other problems. Dr. Konig and the staff at the Konig Center for Cosmetic and Comprehensive Dentistry in Houston, Texas, can help. Come in for a consultation to discuss which treatment option would be best for you. Call (713) 668-2289 today!

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