Do You Have a Normal Teeth Bite? Here’s How to Tell

normal teeth bite

A misaligned bite, a term used to describe how your upper and lower jaws come together to form your smile, can cause issues with your teeth. In a normal bite, the top teeth should slightly overlap the bottom teeth, and the back teeth should fit together like a puzzle. However, if your teeth are misaligned, you may have a bad bite.

You may already be familiar with overbites and underbites, but did you know that there are actually four types of bad bites? These include overbites, underbites, crossbites, and open bites. In addition to these, you might also notice other signs of a bad bite, such as crooked or crowded teeth, or gaps between your teeth.

At Davis Orthodontics, we specialize in transforming bad bites into healthy, straight smiles that last a lifetime. Let’s discuss how to determine if you have a bad bite or a normal teeth bite, and why it’s important to address your bite alignment.

Four Different Types of Bad Bites

A bad bite, also known as malocclusion, can vary from person to person. As mentioned earlier, there are four main types of bad bites: overbites, underbites, crossbites, and open bites. Let’s take a closer look at each of these:


A normal bite should have a slight overbite, with the front top teeth slightly overlapping the front bottom teeth. However, if your molars don’t fit together properly, you may have a misaligned overbite. Signs of an overbite include the top teeth biting down on the lower gums or the top teeth protruding over the bottom teeth. An overbite can cause tension in your jaw and face muscles, resulting in headaches. It can also lead to difficulties with chewing and uneven wear on your tooth enamel.


An underbite occurs when the lower jaw extends beyond the upper jaw, causing the lower teeth to protrude and sit in front of the upper teeth. Genetics and childhood habits like prolonged thumb-sucking or tongue thrusting can contribute to an underbite. Although less common than overbites, underbites can also lead to jaw stress and chewing difficulties. In some cases, they may even cause sleep apnea or speech problems.


Unlike overbites and underbites, which involve the entire row of teeth, a crossbite affects individual teeth or groups of teeth. A crossbite occurs when the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth, either in the front or back of your mouth. It can be caused by baby teeth not falling out during childhood or delayed eruption of adult teeth. In response to these situations, the jaw and other teeth develop a crossbite.

Open bite:

There are two types of open bites. The first is when the front top teeth fail to touch or slightly overlap the front bottom teeth, as they should in a normal bite. The second type is when the back top and bottom teeth don’t touch each other when your mouth is at rest. Signs of an open bite may include a lisp, difficulty chewing or swallowing, your tongue being in a different position, or irregular wear on your teeth. Open bites can result from genetics or a lack of parallel jaw growth.

Other Types of Misaligned Teeth

In addition to bad bites, other teeth misalignment issues can impact your oral health and smile. Crooked teeth, gap teeth, and crowded teeth are common problems that we address at our offices in Simpsonville, Spartanburg, Clemson, Anderson, Walhalla, Greenville, and Greer. Treating these misalignment issues not only boosts confidence but also improves the health of your teeth and gums.

Crooked Teeth:

Teeth growing in an undesirable direction or being twisted can affect proper bite alignment. Crooked teeth can make it more challenging to brush, floss, and chew effectively. Genetics and poor oral hygiene, such as periodontitis, can contribute to crooked teeth. Trauma to the teeth from sports or accidents can also lead to gaps and shifting. Interestingly, teeth naturally move to fill gaps left by prematurely fallen-out teeth. However, this movement may not result in straight teeth. Poor nutrition can also contribute to crooked teeth, both during childhood and adulthood. Additionally, infant habits like thumb-sucking, mouth breathing, or tongue thrusting can influence tooth direction.

Crowded Teeth:

When your jaw is smaller than the size of your teeth, your teeth may not have enough room and become closely spaced. Crowded teeth make it difficult to clean between them effectively, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Many individuals seek treatment for crowded teeth for aesthetic reasons as well. At Davis Orthodontics, we offer braces and clear aligners like Invisalign® to address crowded teeth.

Gap Teeth:

While gap teeth can be endearing in children during the transition from baby teeth to adult teeth, they may not be preferable for teens and adults. Gap teeth occur when there is more space between teeth than half a millimeter. Causes of gap teeth can include a larger jaw or smaller teeth, or missing teeth. Missing lateral incisors, which are the teeth on either side of the two front teeth, occur in about 2% of people and can cause gaps. At our Simpsonville and Greer offices, Dr. Buddy can easily treat missing lateral incisors.

Other Symptoms of a Bad Bite

Apart from the visual signs of a bad bite, there are also physical symptoms that you may experience:

TMJ Discomfort:

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your lower jaw to your skull and allows movements such as speaking, yawning, and chewing. If you have a bad bite, your TMJ may not align properly, leading to pain when opening and closing your jaw. You may experience stiffness, soreness, or clicking noises in your jaw.

Teeth Grinding and Jaw Clenching:

Grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw can indicate misaligned teeth, which puts stress on the jaw. This stress can result in headaches and jaw pain. Over time, teeth grinding can also wear down tooth enamel, causing sensitivity and an increased risk of tooth decay.


Frequent headaches, not attributable to other causes such as stress or diet, could be a result of a bad bite. A misaligned jaw can place tension on facial joints, including the TMJ, as well as the surrounding tissue and ligaments.

Speaking Difficulties:

Difficulty pronouncing sounds or enunciating clearly can be a sign of a bad bite. Misaligned teeth can lead to a lisp, and a smaller jaw may restrict the movement of your tongue, making it harder to form words correctly.

Facial Asymmetry:

If your face appears asymmetrical when you look in the mirror, it may be due to a bad bite. Proper bite alignment and straight teeth help define the shape and length of your face, as well as ensure the symmetry of the left and right sides and the structure of your jawbone.

Correcting Bite Alignment

Only a certified orthodontist like Dr. Buddy, Dr. Adam, or Dr. Sarah can accurately diagnose a bad bite or determine if your bite is normal. Orthodontists have the expertise to align your teeth, assess your overall facial and jaw alignment, and consider your long-term oral health.

At Davis Orthodontics, we tailor our treatment to meet the specific needs and goals of each patient. Whether you require braces or Invisalign, we utilize cutting-edge technology to guide you through the process conveniently and discreetly.

A New Smile and a New You With Proper Bite Alignment

The TMJ pain, headaches, and teeth grinding mentioned earlier can significantly improve once your bite is normal and your teeth are properly aligned. Achieving a normal bite not only relieves pain but also enhances your overall quality of life. Dr. Buddy, Dr. Adam, Dr. Sarah, and our team at Davis Orthodontics are here to help you leave behind a bad bite and achieve the healthy, dream smile you’ve always wanted. With our conveniently located offices in Simpsonville, Greer, Anderson, Walhalla, and many other cities, contact us today to get started on your journey.

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