Underbite and Overbite — What’s The Difference?

Posted on May 9, 2013

Underbite and Overbite — What’s The Difference?

Dental disorders aren’t at the top of the list for what everybody knows. Not by name, but chances are if you’ve seen a dental condition in your family, you could have it too, as a large number of dental conditions have a genetic link. So let’s get down to business and help you identify a few problems you may not know too much about.

Quite an obvious one to pick up, normally your  lower teeth should lie just behind your upper teeth. Underbite is simply a condition where the reverse happens. It seems harmless, but not only can it cause anxiety and no confidence in those who have it, it comes with some more serious side effects as well.

An underbite usually develops due to genetic reasons, but children who have had prolonged pacifier use may also develop one. Coupled with thumb sucking or bad chewing habits, it could worsen.

Overbite is something that’s usually overlooked, although it can still be noticeable in some cases. In a perfect jaw, your upper teeth hover about 3 -5mm further than the lower, anything over 5mm is classed as an abnormal overbite. 70 percent of dental disorders in children come from overbites, making it the most common malocclusion.

Overbites, like the underbite are also related to genetics.  Just like the underbite, it can worsen by using a pacifier for too long, thumb sucking and even the pressure of tongue pushing against the teeth at a young age.  The jaw bone is soft and slightly mouldable, so at a young age it can be easily deformed.

Overbites can make eating chewy foods painful, and can lead to headaches or joint problems.

If you have any concerns about your teeth, or are concerned with the development of your child’s teeth, contact the HGS Ortho team to book an appointment.