Bad Bite

A normal “bite” typically positions the upper teeth just slightly forward of the lower teeth. Not many people have a perfect bite or occlusion.

A “bad bite,” or malocclusion, is a misalignment or incorrect relation between your top and bottom jaw. When your teeth do not come together properly, your ability to chew and speak normally is impacted. As a result, your teeth may experience wear or grinding.    

What causes a bad bite?

There are many reasons why people’s teeth come into their mouths in a less-than-ideal arrangement. Patients often ask how they can correct their crooked, overlapping, or twisted teeth. Some people’s jaws develop too small for their incoming teeth, which crowds the teeth together and causes them to shift. In other cases, a person’s jaws don’t develop uniformly, resulting in upper and lower jaws that are disproportionate in size. This can occur either as an overbite when there is excessive protrusion of the upper jaw or an underbite when the lower jaw protrudes forward, causing the lower jaw and teeth to extend beyond the upper teeth.

Most often, crowded and crooked teeth, overbites, and underbites are inherited traits. However, growing evidence supports that factors such as childhood breathing/sleep disorders affect the size and position of your developing jaws. Childhood habits such as thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, pacifier use beyond the age of three, and prolonged use of a bottle usually lead to misaligned tooth development. Other causes of misaligned bites include:

  • Early loss of baby or adult teeth
  • Improper fit of dental crowns or fillings
  • Periodontal disease (gum disease)
  • Traumatic injury to the head or mouth
  • Tumors of the mouth or jaw

Types of Malocclusions (Bad Bites)

Malocclusion (Class l)

In a class I malocclusion, the molars line up properly, but the front teeth do not. This type of bite can cause jaw and muscle pain, uneven tooth wear, and cracking.

Malocclusion (Class ll)

In a class II malocclusion (overbite), the front teeth protrude forward, causing the molars to sit forward. As a result, it can cause difficulty with eating and uneven tooth wear.

Malocclusion (Class lll)

In a class III malocclusion, the lower jaw is positioned forward. This bad bite is also known as an underbite and can cause difficulty with eating and speaking and uneven tooth wear.

Malocclusion Treatment Options

During your comprehensive evaluation, Dr. Lepore or Dr. Dougherty and their team will take digital photos and dental X-rays to perform an examination and determine what bite you have. Depending on the findings, they will recommend any of the following treatment options:

  • Orthodontics – Traditional Braces
  • Orthodontics – Clear Aligner Therapy
  • Early orthodontic intervention in children called Growth Modification
  • Palatal Expander
  • Lingual Frenectomy
  • Restorative dentistry, such as crowns to reshape the teeth
  • Removal of teeth to correct overcrowding
  • Jaw surgery to reposition your upper and lower jaws.
  • Left untreated, having teeth in incorrect positions may lead to tooth decay because the teeth are harder to clean. 

Schedule an evaluation today 

If you’re unhappy with your smile due to the position of your teeth or if your ability to chew and speak properly is affected by a bad bite, call Dr. Lepore or Dr. Dougherty at (727) 608-4690 for an evaluation.

We will be able to determine the next course of action to position your jaw and teeth into proper alignment.

A bad bite doesn’t have to mean a bad smile, not when we offer you the perfect solution. Visit to see how a full mouth rehabilitation can correct a bad bite.

Our Dental Savings Plans

Lepore Comprehensive Dentistry believes that everyone should have access to high-quality dental care and that financial constraints or insurance status shouldn’t stand in the way for anyone to receive such care. That’s why we have introduced Dental Savings Plans as we don’t want you to compromise on your dental health. We have two plans – Standard and Wellness - offered at an annual membership fee of $429 and $729 respectively.

Membership will entitle you to a host of benefits including free and discounted treatments with a focus on your overall health.

Review by T Lee

Great caring dental office!!! Very happy with the dental service I receive.

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We are your "home" in Dunedin for advanced dentistry and functional dental medicine. Within our inviting, highly personalized concierge environment, our team supports your whole "wellness" - not just the beauty and health of your smile!