Overbites and Underbites

Oct 28 2010

If you thought overbites or underbites were mostly caused by excessive thumb sucking past the age of two you thought wrong!  These misaligned bites can be the result of numerous scenarios and cause all types of serious problems.

Problems caused by Overbites and Underbites

  • Increased gum disease risk
  • Increased cavity risk
  • Broken teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Difficulties in chewing

In many cases, a child can be born with a small upper jaw and a big lower jaw, or vice versa, resulting in a misaligned bite.  So, besides excessive thumb sucking, these types of bites can be inherited just like the color of your hair, skin, eyes or height.  Misaligned bites can also be caused by early loss of baby or adult teeth, improper fit of fillings or crowns, facial injury, gingivitis, and prolonged pacifier and baby bottle use.

If Overbites and Underbites go left untreated

Difficulties in chewing can make eating unpleasurable, and the grinding of the teeth unnaturally can lead to headaches, and pain in a person’s ears, jaw, neck and face.  If left untreated, these bites can also lead to sinus congestion, so if you or anybody in your family is dealing with a misaligned bite it’s best to see a dentist right away.

Dealing with Broken Teeth

Typically, a misaligned bite will worsen as a person grows older, which can cause teeth to become overly crowed and crooked and result in broken teeth.  In extreme cases, children’s teeth can also break due to overcrowding.   To avoid this, you will want to take your child into a pediatric dentist as soon as their baby teeth begin to fall out so a dental plan can begin early on.

If your child’s tooth is broken rinse the injured area with warm water. To reduce swelling, place a cold compress over the face in the area of the oral injury. Call any of our Utah office locations immediately to assess further injuries, repair the tooth, and prevent infections from developing. At Burg Children’s Dentistry, your Utah pediatric dentist, we specialize in caring for young teeth and jaw structure.

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