Overbites, Underbites, and Crossbites: What’s the Difference?

Malocclusion, also known as “bad bite,” is a very common problem for children and adults. The result of severe malocclusion is that your teeth may become worn down, crooked, or protruded if left untreated. Most have some malocclusion, but it usually doesn’t warrant surgery or any corrective procedures. Malocclusion can be further categorized as underbite, overbite, and crossbite, and at Glaser Orthodontics we recognize each type and treat it accordingly. Below you’ll see the difference between each of these three types of malocclusion.


Underbites occur when the lower teeth stick out past the front teeth. This can be a result of an undergrowth of the upper jaw or an overgrowth of the lower jaw. Underbites can lead to joint and jaw pain, as well as tooth wear.

Overbites occur when the upper teeth protrude over the lower teeth, and can be the result of an overdeveloped supporting bone, poor oral habits, or genetics. Overbites can cause joint and jaw pain and problems, as well as gum problems and irritation.

Crossbites occur when a tooth or group of teeth are misaligned, causing the upper teeth to bite into the inside of the lower teeth. Crossbites can occur anywhere in the mouth, and like with overbite and underbite, can result in tooth wear. Crossbites can also lead to bone-loss and gum disease.

The good news is that malocclusion, whether it be underbite, overbite, or crossbite, can be treated by an orthodontist. If you or your child is suffering from malocclusion, don’t hesitate to Contact Dr. Glaser at Glaser Orthodontics today and schedule an appointment at his Cortlandt Manor office.