What is the Difference between Overbite and Underbite?

Orthodontist serving Stapleton, Denver, Cherry Creek & Nearby Areas of Colorado

A young woman rests her chin on her palm and smiles while seated on a couchIf you’ve been considering orthodontia to straighten your teeth, you may come across a wealth of information on the internet related to different bite problems. Two of the most familiar terms are “overbite” and “underbite.”

Both of these terms describe “bite” problems. Your bite is the way your upper and lower teeth come together. It is also called occlusion. A bad bite, or malocclusion, means that the upper and lower teeth overlap in a way that is not ideal. A bad bite can cause sore jaws, worn teeth, crooked smiles and other issues.

But what about those two common terms? Here is a brief explanation of each:

  • An overbite means your upper teeth stick out too far. They do not nicely overlap the lower teeth. It is also referred to as an overjet. It may be related to the development of the jaw or the alignment of the teeth.
  • An underbite is fairly obvious because your lower teeth will overlap the upper teeth. The lower teeth stick out farther than the upper teeth. It may be caused by the development and position of the jaw.

Perhaps you already have some idea of whether you have an overbite or underbite. Your upper teeth may jut out in a way you don’t like, or your lower teeth may awkwardly overlap the top teeth. The only way to know what kind of bite issues you are dealing with is to visit Dr. Rudman for an evaluation. He will take x-rays and examine your teeth to determine what needs to be done to provide you with a beautiful, straight smile.

Both overbite and underbite are fairly common and almost always treatable with orthodontia. Dr. Rudman can determine if braces, orthognathic surgery or a combination can align your bite and straighten your teeth.

To arrange an exam and consultation with Dr. Rudman, please call us in Denver, CO, at 303-331-0222. Dr. Rudman has years of experience. He will discuss all of your options for achieving the straight teeth and beautiful smile of your dreams.