Understanding the Causes and Treatment Options for Overbite and Underbite

Understanding the Causes and Treatment Options for Overbite and Underbite

Dental health is crucial to our well-being. But, many people struggle with dental misalignments.

These can harm their physical health and self-esteem. Among the most common types of dental misalignments are overbites and underbites.

This blog post will delve into the causes of overbite and underbite.

Teeth Grinding and Jaw Structure

Overbite and underbite are often caused by teeth grinding, also known as bruxism. Teeth grinding can occur during sleep or even subconsciously throughout the day.

Grinding your teeth can wear them down. It also puts pressure on the jaw muscles and joints.

Additionally, genetics play a significant role in jaw structure and can contribute to an overbite or underbite.


Genetics plays a crucial role in determining jaw structure. If one of the parents has an overbite or underbite, their children are more prone to developing similar dental misalignments.

Orthodontic treatment can help fix these genetic misalignments. It improves the look and function of the teeth and jaw. 

Prolonged Thumb-Sucking and Pacifier Use

An underbite or overbite can also result from prolonged pacifier use or thumb sucking. Misalignments may result from the pressure exerted by the thumb or pacifier on the growing teeth and jaw structure. Children must be helped to break these habits in order to avoid future dental problems.

Thumb-sucking and pacifier use should stop by the age of 3 to avoid any potential dental misalignments.

Tumors and Injuries

Tumors and injuries to the jaw or facial bones can also contribute to the development of overbites and underbites. A tumor in the jaw area can alter the structure and alignment of the teeth by creating pressure and displacing parts of the jaw.

Similarly, an injury can cause trauma to the facial bones. This trauma can result in misalignment, mainly if it occurs in childhood when the bones are still growing.

Invisalign services in San Antonio can help correct overbites and underbites in patients of all ages. The cause may be genetic, from habits, or other factors.

Mouth Breathing

Mouth breathing, particularly during sleep, can contribute to developing an overbite or underbite. Breathing through the mouth can cause the tongue to rest on the bottom of the mouth instead of the roof, pushing the teeth out of alignment over time.

Chronic allergies or a deviated septum are common causes of mouth breathing. Treating these conditions can prevent dental problems from mouth breathing.

Poor Posture

Poor posture can also add to an overbite’s or underbite’s development. This is especially true in childhood and adolescence. When the body is consistently misaligned, it can affect the position and function of the jaw.

For example, slouching or hunching over can change how the teeth come together, potentially leading to dental misalignments. Encouraging good posture from an early age can help mitigate this risk.

Dietary Habits

Certain dietary habits may influence dental development and alignment as well. A diet high in sugar and acidic foods can weaken tooth enamel and lead to uneven wear and tear on the teeth.

Additionally, prolonged bottle-feeding or using sippy cups can contribute to improper swallowing patterns and tongue positioning, which may cause teeth and jaw misalignments over time. A balanced diet and proper feeding techniques can help promote overall dental health.

Treating Overbite and Underbite

A combination of factors can cause overbite and underbite. It is essential to address these issues early on to prevent potential dental problems in the future. Consulting with an orthodontist can help determine the best course of treatment for each case and improve overall dental health and function.

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Michael K

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