Orthodontic Disorders

A crossbite is an orthodontic disorder in which the top teeth rest on the inner side of the lower teeth instead of resting slightly outwards. Crossbites are more common with teeth located at the sides. Crossbites occuring on the back teeth should be treated early while the jawbones are still expanding. These bones fuse at around 16 years for girls and 19 years for boys. Problems caused by crossbites include gum disease, bone loss, difficulty in chewing, jaws losing symmetry, etc. If a single tooth is affected by crossbite, the orthodontist treats it with braces or a special retainer. For multiple back teeth, jaw expanders are used.

Anterior Open bite

An open bite is a condition in which the top front teeth do not come in contact with their opposite teeth. When a person affected by this condition closes his mouth to bite, it is possible to see inside his mouth because the upper and lower front teeth do not meet. Genetics, thumb-sucking, and tongue thrusting can cause an open bite. Treatment for open bite can involve braces, habit appliances, elastic wear, or sometimes even surgery. Early correction is recommended.


Overbite is a common orthodontic condition also known as a deep bite. In this condition the top teeth excessively overlap the lower teeth. Genetics, over eruption of anterior teeth, and poor lower jaw growth are some factors which can cause dep bites. The lower teeth may hit the root of the upper teeth when chewing and correction is recommended.


Overjet is a condition in which the upper front teeth protrude too far ahead of the lower teeth, often referrd to as "buck teeth". Overjet can happen if the molars are not properly aligned, the bones of the upper and lower jaw are not balanced, upper incisors flare and come out, lower teeth are missing, or from thumb sucking and tongue thrusting. The risks of not treating overjet include injury to the protruding front teeth, uneven jaw growth, and teeth may wear out early.


In an underbite the lower front teeth extend outwards and bite infront of the top front teeth. The medical term for underbite as it relates to the jaws is called prognathism. An underdeveloped upper jaw and/or an overdeveloped lower jaw are characteristic features of an underbite. It can be caused by dental misalignment, unsymmetrical jaw growth, or a combination of both. If not treated, an underbite can lead to poor functioning of the teeth and difficulty chewing foods. Skelatal underbites can be treated without surgery utill the patient reaches puberty; therefore an early diagnosis is critical. Orthodontists will try to modify jaw and teeth growth using headgear and braces. Treatment done at a later stage can involve tooth extraction and surgery to correct the structure of the jaws.

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