An overbite is when your upper teeth overlap or extend past the bottom teeth. It is common for some people to have a slight overbite, but others have more severe issues. Your smile is more than aesthetics. Jaw and teeth placement provides operational support and affects your oral and physical health. A deep overbite or malocclusion occurs when the overlap between the teeth is severe. Sometimes when someone has a malocclusion, their chin is recessive, affecting the shape of their face. It can also cause headaches, TMJ, jaw clenching, earaches, and teeth grinding. If you're experiencing issues related to an overbite, the following information will be helpful as you consider corrective options. In addition, you can learn more about The Smile Generation® and our dedication to excellence in dental care by clicking here.
What Causes an Overbite?
There are several reasons people have an overbite. Genetics is a significant factor for many, including the shape and size of teeth and your upper and lower jaw. Spacing or the amount of room in the mouth for teeth may also cause an overbite. Certain chronic habits can also create an overbite. For example, thumb sucking is a significant contributor to creating an overbite. Lastly, teeth grinding and TMJ often contribute to overbites.
Oral Health Issues and Overbites.
Many of the issues caused by an overbite can be anything from minor aesthetic issues to significant health complications. In children, overbite issues could continue to worsen. The aesthetics of their smile could take place as soon as pre-pubescence. Overbite correction can be highly beneficial since it helps children (and adults) feel more confident. An overbite can cause the teeth to strike the gumline of the lower gums and cause gum recession. As a result, it can make speech difficult, cause speech impediments, or overcompensation to articulate words. In addition, the improper position of teeth causes the teeth to rest in odd places and cause wear and tear on the enamel, crack the teeth, or even cause tooth loss. An untreated overbite could also dramatically alter the facial structure, leading to low self-esteem issues.
Side Effects, Symptoms of an Overbite
1. Irreparable damage to teeth
2. Teeth grinding (bruxism)
3. Jaw pain, like TMJ (temporomandibular joint dysfunction)
4. Tooth decay, including cavities, gum disease, etc.
5. Severe headaches, including migraines
6. Discomfort or pain while eating
7. Difficulty with fully opening or closing your mouth.
8. Sleep apnea
9. Sinus or breathing problems
10. Difficulty speaking
11. Speech problems
How Soon Should I Correct an Overbite?
If possible, overbite correction should take place as young as possible. An overbite will get worse over time and become more pronounced, making it more challenging to fix. While the problems associated with an overbite may seem minor initially, they continue to progress and worsen over time. Things like having a misaligned bite make even something like digestion more difficult on the overbite person. Because of this, Smile Generation® recommends early intervention and corrective procedures.
Adult and Pediatric Overbite Treatment
A pediatric dentist will refer you or your child to an orthodontist to correct an overbite. For children, overbite correction treatment is more straightforward because the jaw is still in the developmental stages. The most common concern and issue is the crowding of teeth in the mouth. The lack of early preventative treatment often results in the orthodontist creating a correction plan lasting two years or longer for adults. Next, orthodontists take x-rays to identify the type of overbite. Lastly, the x-rays show the overlap between the teeth and the jaw. Here are some of the common overbite corrections available for children and adults:
Children and Teens
- Teeth removal: Removal of baby teeth makes room for permanent teeth to grow straight.
- Growth modification devices: These are often best used during growth spurts and help better position the jaw.
- Retainers: These devices allow your teeth to stay in places after you get your braces off.
- Braces: An orthodontic device used to move the teeth to fix the overbite.
- Teeth removal: Most dentists and orthodontists consider this a last resort. However, when teeth need to move freely, an extraction might be used.
Frequently Asked Questions About Overbites
Question: Is an overbite the same thing as an overjet?
Answer: People refer to the words overbite and overjet conversely. These dental issues share similarities. However, they are not alike. Talk to your orthodontist at your consultation visit about any questions you may have regarding overbites or overjet.
Question: What is Retrognathia?
Answer: Retrognathia means your mandible sits behind your maxilla. As a result, people call retrognathia an overbite.
Question: What is the medical term for your upper jaw?
Answer: Orthodontists and dentists refer to the upper jaw as your maxilla.
Question: What is the medical term for your lower jaw?
Answer: Like your upper jaw, an Orthodontist or dentist calls your lower jaw the mandible.
Question: What is the name for an overbite and a recessed chin?
Answer: Mandibular Retrognathia means a person has a noticeably recessed chin and overbite. Additionally, people suffering from this dental issue often state it severely affects their self-esteem.
Scheduling Your Orthodontic Consultation
Overbite correction is considered an Orthodontic treatment. The Smile Generation® connects you with trusted, experienced, and qualified Orthodontists. Smile Generation® strives to be your trusted resource for all your dental health needs. We provide a search tool, "Find a Dentist." You may also call us at +1 (800) 764-5343 or use our Website's Live Chat feature in the lower right-hand corner of your screen.