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What Is a Malocclusion?


Your bite is the way your upper and lower teeth close together. The way you bite depends on the size and position of your jaws. A malocclusion, or “bad bite” means that your upper and lower teeth do not fit together properly. Many factors can change your bite: mouth breathing, thumb-sucking, missing teeth, crooked teeth, teeth that stick out, and the position and size of your jaws.


If you have a bad bite, chewing might be more difficult and your teeth may wear down and chip. If your teeth are crooked, they are more difficult to keep clean, food might get stuck, and cavities may develop easier. Changing your bite and correcting your malocclusion changes the way your smile looks and may improve your oral health.


What are the different malocclusions?


A deep bite means the top front teeth cover excessively the bottom teeth.


An increased overjet means the top front teeth stick out (protrude).


An underbite means the top front teeth close on the inside of the bottom teeth.


An open bite means there is a space between the bottom and top front teeth when you bite.


A crossbite means the top teeth don’t line up with the correct lower teeth when you bite.


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