When the upper part of the jaw and the lower part of the jaw are not the same size, bite problems can occur. When the lower jaw is smaller than the upper jaw, it is called an overbite. When the reverse is true, it is called an underbite. Another related alignment disorder is called a crossbite. Crossbites occur when lower teeth are in the wrong position. They may be incorrectly positioned sideways, forward or backward.
Malocclusion (literally ‘bad bite’) is the term used for all types of bite problems including overbites, underbites and crossbites. Jaw alignment disorders can cause a range of problems and often prohibit proper chewing and/or swallowing. Teeth can shift around in the mouth, causing even more discomfort or difficulty. Gum disease and tooth decay are also harder to prevent because proper oral hygiene can be difficult with a malocclusion. TMJ disorder can develop over time. Distorted facial shape and unattractive teeth are often the most noticeable and troubling issues for those affected.
Fortunately, there are a variety of effective treatments for bite problems. If you suspect your child has a bite misalignment, it is especially important to have them examined as early as possible. By starting early, you can make sure they avoid years of pain and self-consciousness.
Call Harris Dental at (480) 428-0040. Dentist Dr. Joseph and Brian Harris, DDS is experienced in diagnosing bite disorders in patients of all ages. We can create a successful treatment plan for you. We also perform porcelain veneers and dental implants for Phoenix and Queen Creek area dental clients.