A malocclusion may also be referred to as an underbite, crossbite or overbite. The difference in the 3 types of malocclusions are explained below:
- Crossbite: This could be one single tooth or an entire section of your mouth in which the upper and lower jaws are misaligned, usually causing one or more upper teeth to bite inside the lower teeth. Crossbites can happen on the front or along the sides of your mouth and are known to cause wear on the teeth, gum disease and/or bone loss.
- Overbite: The upper teeth overlap the lower teeth excessively. Overbites can lead to gum issues or irritation and even wear on the lower teeth, and can potentially cause jaw pain or possible jaw joint problems. An overbite can be caused by oral habits, such as thumb sucking.
- Underbite: The lower teeth protrude past the front teeth. This can be caused by undergrowth of the upper jaw, overgrowth of the lower jaw, or a combination. Underbites can also be caused by missing upper teeth, which can prevent the normal function of the front teeth. This, in turn, leads to unfavorable wear on teeth, and possible TMJ issues.