One of the most common orthodontic issues is a misaligned bite. This occurs when the upper and lower jaws do not align properly. In this article, we will look at two types of misaligned bites, their causes, and common bite problems.

Two Types of Bites

1. Overbite

Overbite or buck teeth is a type of malocclusion where the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth. It is normal for the upper to overlap the lower teeth, but if they protrude more than 2 mm, it causes an overbite. 

People don’t usually treat an overbite unless it causes problems. However,  overbite treatment can be necessary for health and cosmetic reasons. 

3 Common Causes of Overbite

Thumb SuckingExcessive thumb sucking as a kid can be one of the causes of buck teeth. The pressure created by the sucking can cause the permanent teeth to erupt at wrong angles. Encourage your child to stop thumb sucking by the age of 3-4 years or when their permanent teeth begin to erupt. Tongue ThrustingThis is the action of the tongue pressing too far forward in the mouth. This is common in children, but quite a few adults are also guilty of tongue thrusting. GeneticsIf anyone in your family has an overbite or an uneven jaw, the chances of you inheriting it are quite high. 

2. Underbite

In this bite problem, the lower teeth do not align with the upper teeth. It can appear as though the bottom jaw is jutting out. It gives you a bulldog-like appearance. 

4 Common Causes of Underbite 

Bad Childhood Habits

Certain childhood habits can increase the risk of developing an underbite. Some of these habits include thumb sucking, extended use of a pacifier, tongue thrusting, or long-term bottle feeding. 


If an injury causes permanent damage to the jawbone, it can be fixed with surgery. However, if the upper and lower jaws don’t align even after the surgery, and the lower jaw protrudes further out, it can cause an underbite. 


In most cases, kids inherit an underbite from one of the family members. 


If there are any tumors on the jawbone or in the mouth, it may cause the jaws to protrude. This can cause an underbite. 

What Problems Can a Misaligned Bite Cause?

Eating and Chewing Difficulties

When the upper and lower teeth do not align properly, you will have trouble chewing the food properly. You may also experience discomfort while eating food. 

Speech Problems

A misaligned bite can cause a lisp and mispronunciation of certain words. 

Jaw Pain

People with an underbite or overbite can experience intense and persistent jaw pain, especially temporomandibular (TMJ) pain. It is often coupled with headaches, limited jaw movement, or pain that spreads to ears. 

Worn Out Tooth Enamel

A misaligned bite causes improper chewing, which further results in uneven wear and tear of the teeth. The tooth enamel can also get worn out in the process. 

Treatment Options

Jaw Expanders

These are devices that are placed in the upper or lower jaw to ‘stretch’ out the jaw to align both the jaws properly. The screws on the expanders need to be widened every night until the treatment is complete. 


Traditional braces are used to bring the teeth of the misaligned jaws to the correct position. In certain cases, tooth extraction may be recommended if the room is required to straighten the teeth. 


Aligners are an invisible alternative to fix misaligned teeth after the alignment of the jaw is corrected. Consult with an orthodontist to discuss the treatment options for fixing the misaligned bite. 

Author Bio:

Sharon William’s day job is to handle digital marketing for Koch Orthodontics in Loganville, GA. With a flair for creating compelling content that clears the clutter and connects with the audience in an instant, she writes about dental topics to educate and help her readers. She truly believes that a genuine smile can win a million hearts and talks to her readers about improving their smiles and overall dental health, as well as enhancing their overall lifestyle. In her free time, she likes to organize small meets in her neighbourhood where she brings people together to discuss various topics that she writes about.