When the top jaw and teeth overlap the lower jaw and teeth, this is referred to as an overbite. Overbites are a malocclusion, according to dentists and orthodontists. An overbite can be horizontal or vertical. A horizontal overbite is when the top teeth extend over the bottom teeth. In contrast, a vertical overbite is when the top teeth overlap the bottom teeth (more commonly known as overjet). Patients may show both of these symptoms. These patients frequently have TMJ pain, inwardly slanted teeth, and jaw problems.
What Effects Does an Overbite Have on the Body?
A minor overbite might not have any noticeable health consequences. However, an untreated one might result in the following:
- Problems with breathing.
- Pain or difficulty chewing.
- Gum disease.
- Temporomandibular disorders or jaw pain (TMD).
- Teeth decay or cavities.
- Speech difficulties.
What Is the Cause of an Overbite?
Examples of behavioral factors are:
- Thumb-sucking after the age of three.
- Using a pacifier after the age of 3.
- Tongue thrusting.
Examples of environmental factors are:
- Mouth breathing.
- Blocked airways.
- Jaw trauma.
How Is an Overbite Diagnosed?
Usually, during a physical examination, it is your dentist who first notices an overbite. Then, the dentist may take dental X-rays to analyze further and how your teeth are positioned. Your dentist could suggest that you see an orthodontist. An orthodontist is a dentist who specializes in tooth and jaw alignment.
How Do You Treat Overbites?
Dental braces can correct an overbite in addition to crooked and misaligned teeth. There are three steps to this:
Step 1: Braces are affixed to the teeth to straighten and align them. If your orthodontist recommends overbite braces, you can also choose them.
Step 2: When the teeth are straightened, elastic bands are attached to the brackets to gradually move the jaw into the proper position by applying consistent pressure. Remove the bands before drinking, eating, or cleaning your teeth.
Step 3: The third step entails wearing a retainer to maintain the teeth’s proper alignment. Also, even though the time needed to correct an overbite varies from patient to patient, severe overbite cases require at least two years to be updated with braces.
For those who don’t like how braces impact their appearance, Invisalign is an excellent alternative to braces. A set of transparent trays used in Invisalign therapy for overbite correction are in charge of gradually repositioning the patient’s teeth. As time passes, the patient shifts to different trays to correct it completely.
Although Invisalign is more costly than traditional braces, it is recommended because of its invisibility and quicker overbite correction period, which can be as little as a year, depending on how bad the overbite case is.
Certain situations require surgery to restore the smile because the jaw bone is misplaced. Overbite surgery is best suited for adults because children might not need it. Shifting children’s teeth and bones into position with braces or Invisalign is more straightforward since they are still forming.
In cases when crowded teeth bring on overbite, tooth extraction is a good solution. One or more teeth can be extracted to allow the remaining teeth to realign into their proper positions. When the teeth begin to hold their natural function, the jaw also aligns appropriately.
Does It Have the Ability to Self-Correct?
An overbite is unlikely to go away on its own without treatment. Many factors contribute to its development, including the location of your jaw and the angle of your teeth. While bad habits may be corrected, misaligned teeth are more likely to remain misaligned than to get into perfect alignment.
Why Is It Crucial to Fix an Overbite?
The overlap deepens when your back teeth wear down, resulting in a more severe case. As the back teeth get shorter from wear, the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth more. Most overbites happen when the front lower teeth move up, and the back lower teeth wear down, which pushes the jaw back. The facial profile and small chin get worse as well. It is common for the airway to become narrower as the bite deepens, leading to sleeping problems, TMJ problems, neck tension, and jaw discomfort. An overbite often makes it difficult to articulate our sentences clearly as we age.
Overbite is usually easier to repair in a child than in an adult because their growth may be in a healthy direction. Misalignment can also be avoided by avoiding unhealthy behaviours and environmental causes. A misalignment, on the other hand, is unlikely to fix itself without treatment.
If you believe you or your kid has an overbite and live in Richmond Hill, Ontario, contact us at ORIS Dental Clinics or schedule an appointment online to discuss your choices if we determine that orthodontic treatment is required.