5 Ways To Tell If You Have A Normal Bite

5 Ways To Tell If You Have A Normal Bite

A nasty bite can be distressing. No, we are not talking about a snake bite. We are talking about your orthodontic bite, specifically the relationship between your upper and lower teeth. In a normal bite, your teeth fit perfectly over one another. However, when you are diagnosed with a poor bite, your top and bottom teeth are misaligned in occlusion.

When we talk about orthodontic misalignment, chances are you might have heard of underbite and overbite. However, did you know that there are other types of poor bites, such as open bite and crossbite? Additionally, there are other orthodontic misalignments, such as gap teeth, crowded teeth, and crooked teeth.

At BigSmile Dental Clinic, we turn poor bites into straight, healthy smiles. Discover how you can tell if you have a normal or poor bite and how we can help you achieve a well-aligned smile.

Four different types of bites

A bad bite, also known as malocclusion, can vary significantly amongst individuals. As mentioned earlier, there are four types of poor bites: open bite, crossbite, underbite, and overbite. So, what does each look like?

1. Open Bite

There are two types of open bite. However, both will look like your upper and lower jaws do not meet one another nicely. One type of open bite is when the front teeth of your upper jaw do not touch or even overlap the front teeth of your lower jaw. The other type is when the back teeth of your upper and lower jaws do not touch one another when your jaws are in a biting position.

Some signs of an open bite include:

  • Your teeth are not showing signs of regular wear and tear
  • Your tongue rests in a different position
  • Having difficulty swallowing or chewing
  • Speaking with a lisp

2. Crossbite:

A crossbite typically occurs to a group of teeth, or an individual tooth instead of the entire row. A crossbite occurs when the upper teeth bite inside your lower teeth. One might develop a crossbite if their baby teeth did not fall out during dental development or when there is a lack of space in the jaws, resulting in the displacement of teeth.

3. Underbite

Underbite occurs when your lower jaw extends beyond the upper jaw, resulting in your lower row of teeth protruding past the upper row of teeth. Just as in other types of bites, hereditary and developmental disorders, such as acromegaly and tumours, can result in the development of underbites.

4. Overbite

A slight overbite is normal – usually 1 to 2 mm. However, if your lower jaw is severely retruded, or small compared to your upper jaw, that is when you have an overbite. An overbite is more common than an underbite. However, it results in the same chewing challenges and jaw stress that could lead to unwanted tension in the face and jaw muscles, in some cases resulting in trauma to the gums.

Symptoms of a bad bite

Now that we have covered what having a poor bite entails, what are some signs or symptoms that you can look out for?

1. TMJ discomfort

The TMJ (Temporomandibular joint) is the joint connecting your lower jaw to the base of the skull. It is responsible for giving your jaw the ability to move for actions such as chewing, yawning, and speaking. If you do not have a normal orthodontic bite, your TMJ might not be aligned properly, sometimes resulting in pain when you close and open your jaws. Additionally, you may also experience some degree of soreness and stiffness alongside a clicking noise.

2. Teeth grinding

If you find yourself grinding your teeth throughout the day, it might be an indicative sign that you do not have a comfortable normal bite, resulting in jaw stress. This stress may, in turn, result in the development of jaw pain and headaches. Teeth grinding, over time, also speeds up the wear and tear of your teeth enamel, increasing your risk of developing tooth sensitivity and fractures.

3. Food impaction

Having food debris stuck in your teeth occasionally is normal and can happen to anybody because there is a wide variety of foods that people eat. However, if it seems like you are experiencing food impaction frequently and you have ruled out possible causes, such as ill-fitting dentures or orthodontic braces, then perhaps it could be a result of not having a normal healthy bite. Misaligned jaws and teeth can result in food debris getting jammed between the teeth, sometimes lodging in the gums and causing pain and swelling.

4. Having difficulty enunciating your words

Another way of telling that you do not have a normal occlusion is when you have difficulty enunciating your words or pronouncing certain words properly. Misaligned jaws and  teeth can result in the development of lisps. Additionally, having a smaller jaw does not allow for adequate room to move your tongue freely. Having big gaps between your teeth can affect your ability to pronounce specific words.

5. Facial asymmetry

Everybody suffers from a subtle asymmetry in their facial geometry. However, if it appears very obvious, it probably would result in a poor bite. Having straight teeth and an aligned orthodontic bite help to define the shape and length of your face, the symmetry of your right and left sides, and the structure of the bones.


At the end of the day, only an orthodontist or dentist can help diagnose if you have a normal or poor bite. An orthodontist not only has the ability to realign your teeth but also assess the alignment of your jaw and face in consideration of your oral health.

With the help of cutting-edge technologies and solutions, such as invisible braces, BigSmile Dental Clinic is able to help address your symptoms, allowing you to achieve a comfortable jaw alignment and a better bite. It is time to leave behind poor dysfunctional bites and improve your quality of life significantly. Contact us to find out more about our wide range of dental and orthodontic services!