When you think of a perfect smile, images of perfectly aligned teeth tend to come to mind. However, in reality, many adults and children are not born with an ideal set of teeth. Malocclusions – the medical term for the misalignment of teeth – is a widespread phenomenon even in society today.
Fortunately, most of these malocclusions are easy to correct with the appropriate treatment. In this blog, we’ll be focusing specifically on one of the most common types of malocclusions that we treat – the overbite.
What Is an Overbite?
As the term suggests, an overbite describes a misalignment of teeth where the upper teeth overlap in front of the lower set of teeth.
The ideal smile involves the top teeth overlapping the bottom teeth, touching slightly for protective purposes. The problem only comes when there is a larger allowance in between.
What Causes an Overbite?
While overbites can be genetic due to the shape and size of your jaw or teeth, there are things that you can do as a child or adult that could result in the development of an overbite over time.
Here are some habits that you should try to avoid preventing an overbite from developing:
- Sucking on thumbs or pacifier use over prolonged periods can cause the back of the teeth to be pushed forward by the tongue, creating an overbite.
- Habitual biting and chewing behaviors with nails or pencil end also push the teeth forward.
- Teeth grinding.
Does An Overbite Cause Health Complications?
Apart from aesthetics, overbites could also extend to other possible health complications, so it’s essential to get treated as soon as possible.
Some possible health complications related to overbites include:
- Damage to teeth due to misalignment – with a gap between the two layers of teeth, the bottom layer of teeth is exposed and can be damaged more easily.
- Jaw pain and discomfort while eating.
- Cause sleep apnea due to the blockage of airflow.
- Difficulty in maintaining teeth health resulting in poor dental hygiene and related issues.
- And much more.
How to Fix an Overbite?
Are you interested in getting your overbite corrected? The first step is to visit an orthodontist who will review your case individually and come up with the best treatment plan for you.
Here are some possible overbite correction treatments that we use here at Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics:
- Removal of teeth to allow room for the teeth to become realigned
- Growth modification gadgets such as expanders to help reposition the jaw (common in teenagers experiencing growth spurts)
- Braces to slowly realign the teeth to correct the overbite and retainers to keep them in position once an ideal state is present.
- Surgery for severe skeletal jaw issues (only recommended for adults)
Tip: Don’t wait until your overbite is causing you problems to seek treatment! For children, the earlier you get checked, the more straightforward the treatment will be!
Are you interested to learn more about overbite correction?
Contact us at Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics for a free consultation. Ask us anything about your overbite teeth and learn about our recommended treatments to fix overbites.