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A dental overbite is when your upper front teeth overlap with your lower front teeth. Most patients have at least a small dental overbite. Orthodontic braces can fix many issues including a dental overbite. An overbite can have a negative impact on our cosmetic smile.

Causes Of A Dental Overbite?

The term occlusion is a dental term that refers to how our teeth align with each other. A dental overbite is a type of malocclusion (a deviation form normal occlusion). A malocclusion is a misalignment or incorrect relation between the teeth of the two dental arches when they approach each other as the jaws close. A dental overbite is when a patient’s upper teeth sticks out fart beyond the lower teeth. Dental overbites are usually a genetic trait passed on down from parents. It can also be caused by a behavioral habit leading to malformed jaw development. These can include thumb sucking, prolonged use of a pacifier, teeth grinding, tongue thrust issues, biting our nails, or chewing on objects. TMJ disorder can also cause a malocclusion as well as loss of teeth as the our teeth shift.

Dental Overbite Henderson NV Marielaina Perrone DDSDental malocclusions can fall into 1 of 3 categories:

Class One Malocclusion. This type of malocclusion indicates when a normal dental bite is with a slight overlap of the upper teeth. This is the most common malocclusion.

Class Two Malocclusion. This type of malocclusion is diagnosed when the dental overbite is severe. Another term for this is retrognathic.

Class Three Maloccluison. This is a severe dental underbite (when the lower teeth overlap the upper teeth). Another term for this is prognathic.

2 Types of Dental Overbites

-Vertical Overbite. This occurs when the top teeth significantly overlap the lower teeth.

-Horizontal Overbite. This happens when the top teeth protrude over the lower teeth.

Dental overbites can also be classified as either dental or skeletal. A dental overbite means that the teeth are the root cause of the dental overbite. A skeletal overbite identifies the jaw as the root cause of the dental overbite.

Treatments Of A Dental Overbite

Orthodontic braces are the #1 treatment for a dental overbite. A dental overbite can be diagnosed by a dentist or orthodontist. There is not an age limit on overbite treatment. It will just be easier on still growing children vs adults. It is usually very easy to see visually so parents can understand easily. In some cases, radiographs and dental impressions will be needed to fully assess the dental overbite. Orthodontic braces along with dental elastic bands . These bands along with orthodontic braces will slowly and methodically place forces on the jaw and teeth to bring things into a more cosmetic alignment thus eliminating the dental overbite.

In a severe dental overbite, removal of teeth (usually premolars) may be necessary or even dental surgery to re position the lower jaw.

A dental overbite can create issues in dental hygiene which can lead to an increased incidence of tooth decay and periodontal disease.

Possible Dental Overbite Treatment For Children and Young Adults

-Early removal of baby teeth. This will give permanent teeth extra room for eruption into the mouth.

-Growth modification appliance. This will be used during growth periods to help better position the jaw

-Orthodontic Braces. Use of braces will apply forces in a direct way slowly moving the teeth to correct the overbite along with the jaw.

-Orthodontic Retainers. These orthodontic devices are used following orthodontic treatment to help to keep the teeth in place after completion of treatment.

Possible Dental Overbite Treatment For Adults

– Orthodontic Braces. This allows movement of the teeth to correct a dental overbite.

-Teeth removal. Both dentists and orthodontists try to avoid removing permanent teeth but this will become necessary in very severe dental overbite cases. This is to allow the teeth more freedom to move.

-Dental Surgery. This may be needed for skeletal dental overbites that can only be corrected with surgery.

Untreated Dental Overbite?

If a dental overbite is left untreated there can be significant issues both dentally and for our health. The following are possible complications that can arise from not treating a dental overbite:

-TMJ Disorders including jaw pain.

-Increased risk of tooth decay and periodontal disease.

-Headaches.

-Pain upon eating and chewing.

Sleep Apnea.

Speech issues like lisps.

Dental Overbite Conclusion

Your dentist or orthodontist will be able to easily diagnose your dental overbite and offer you options to correct it. We all want a perfect smile but a dental overbite can cause other dental issues beyond cosmetics. Remember to see your dentist regularly for dental examinations and professional cleanings to keep your smile healthy and happy for a lifetime!



Teeth grinding or bruxism can be a common occurrence at one time or another for many adults. In fact, it is actually more common in children. It is believed that about 30% of all children grind or clench their teeth. Luckily, most kids usually move past grinding or clenching by the time they are a teenager.

Why Do Children Grind Their Teeth?

Kids grind their teeth for similar reasons that adults do. Below you will find a list of the most common causes:

Stress.

-Jaw Growth.

-Response To Pain (earache or toothache).

Malocclusion.

-Result Of Losing Teeth.

Allergies.

How To Tell If Your Child Is A Teeth Grinder?

Many children who grind their teeth in their sleep have no idea they are doing it. In fact, upon waking in the morning they feel no jaw, facial, neck, or shoulder pain. It is usually a parent or sibling who notices it first. However, some children will experience some or all of the symptoms listed above.

What Can Teeth Grinding Do To Your Child’s Dental Health?

Teeth grinding can cause a host of dental complications including:

-Fractured Teeth.

-Abnormal Wear To Crowns Of Teeth.

-Increased Temperature Sensitivity.

-Gum Tissue Recession.

-Jaw Misalignment.

Treatment For Teeth Grinding

Treatment usually includes close monitoring of a child’s teeth grinding. If the teeth grinding continues then a custom made mouthguard may be necessary to protect the teeth from further damage. If the grinding is from stress it is important to talk to your children to see what might be bothering them. Stress induced bruxism can be avoided, however, by talking with kids regularly about their feelings and helping them deal with stress.

Bruxism Conclusion

If you notice your child is grinding his/her teeth bring them in for a complete dental evaluation with your dentist. This will ensure there is no damage and give you the ability to coordinate a good plan going forward.




Starting off right is true for many things in life but it is especially true in dental care. Building a good dental health foundation early in life will pay big dividends as our children get older. These habits will allow your children to maintain a healthy smile as a child and as an adult. Not only will their teeth be healthier but so will their overall general health. Self care is one of the most important lessons a parent can teach a child.

Pediatric Dental Care Tips

Start Early. Many parents falsely believe that since primary teeth will fall out anyway that they are not important. This is totally false. A child’s dental care begins when that first tooth erupts into the mouth. These teeth will be small but can be brushed with a soft infant toothbrush or a wet washcloth. The general rule of thumb is the first dental visit should by at or around age 1. These visits will be educational for the parents but also allow the child to feel comfortable in the dental office. Early treatment will also save you money over time as you will catch any issues early and also learn proper prevention techniques.

Include Your Child. As your child matures they can handle more of the responsibility of dental hygiene. They will feel good about themselves and feel like a big kid if they can accomplish these simple tasks. Some good tips to get them to brush properly include playing their favorite song while they brush or even give them a small reward when they do a good job. Many parents simply allow their children to brush on their own. This can be a big mistake. You need to check that they did a good job especially early on.

Nutrition Is A Factor. Eating right will not only help your childs growth and development but it will also help with their dental health. Eating a balanced diet will help your child’s teeth to develop properly becoming strong. Limit the sugars that they eat but know it is impossible to avoid sugars totally. If your child does snack on a sugary treat make sure they brush and rinse after finishing. This will minimize the chances of tooth decay developing.

Beware Of Medications. Many children’s medications have a lot of sugar in their ingredients. This gives childrens medicine their better taste and make them easier to drink. So beware of this and make sure your child rinses with water following taking their medications or even better brush following. Another tip is for children with asthma. Asthma inhalers will develop bacteria over time and need to be cleaned daily. These inhalers will also dry out your child’s mouth which can lead to tooth decay as well. Our saliva is our natural defense against tooth decay.

Stop Pacifier Use By Age 2. Pacifiers are very dangerous to your child’s teeth as they get older. Continuing pacifier use past age 2 could lead to malocclusions (crooked teeth with an open bite).

Rethink Your Child’s Drink Choice. Many children enjoy juice and use a sippy cup until they are old enough to use a regular glass. You should never let them fall asleep in their crib with a juice cup. It will lead to what is called baby bottle tooth decay. Giving juice to your child is totally ok but do not allow them to sip slowly on the juice cup. It is best to finish it all at once and then rinse with water or brush. Milk is actually the better choice if the child will drink it.

Beware Of Teeth Grinding. Teeth grinding is quite common in children under the age of 7 years old. It usually stops on its own with no damage to the teeth. If it persists, call your dentist to evaluate the cause of the issue. Many times it can be a change in routine, or a problem at school that they are unable to communicate properly. Children who are hyperactive or have certain medical conditions, such as cerebral palsy, may also grind.

Pediatric Dentistry Conclusion

Maintaining good dental health for our children can be challenging for many parents. The results are worthwhile as your children will be happier and healthier. As always visit your dentist regularly for regular dental examinations and professional cleaning.




Crooked teeth (also referred to as a malocclusion) can affect approximately 75% of all American adults. Malocclusion can significantly affect dental and oral health over the course of a lifetime, leaving you with increased chances of developing periodontal disease and increased wear and trauma to teeth.

Types Of Malocclusion

Crossbite – A crossbite is when the lower teeth overlap or come out even with the upper teeth. In a normal occlusion the upper teeth overlap the lower ones but when a crossbite (can occur on either side or both) is present, the opposite is true. This can lead to premature wear, increased risk of chipping or fracturing your teeth, development of abfraction (small notch in tooth at the gumline), and periodontal disease.

Excessive Overjet – This occurs when the upper front teeth are too far out in front of the lower teeth. This can lead to increased trauma as well as an increase to chipping or fracturing of teeth (especially the front ones).

Edge To Edge Bite – This occurs when the teeth touch one another edge to edge (or cusp to cusp). The teeth do not fit together propely allowing the biting surfaces to touch. This will lead to increased risk of chipping and fracturing, Temperomandibular Joint (TMJ) pain, as well as short, worn down teeth.

Open Bite – This is a common occurence from thumb sucking or can be genetic. It is when there is a space between the front upper teeth and the front lower teeth upon closing. Not only is this an unesthetic option but it can lead to abfraction, is difficult to bite and tear food ,and causes excessive, premature wear of the back teeth.

Over Bite– This is when the upper front teeth completely cover the lower front teeth. Often, the lower teeth hit into the backs of the upper teeth and sometimes into the roof of the mouth.

Under Bite– This occurs when the lower jaw has grown more quickly than the upper jaw. The lower front teeth and jaw have grown in front of the upper teeth.

Tooth Size Arch Length Discrepency– When your teeth are too large for your jaw space and cause extreme crowding or when your teeth are too small for your mouth. Crowding can lead to decay, fracture, and periodontal disease. Small teeth are generally a major cosmetic issue.

The General Health Danger

Periodontal disease is commonly found right along with malocclusion, due to difficulty in maintaining good oral hygiene when teeth are not in proper position.

Periodontal disease has been linked to many systemic diseases through various studies. Some of these diseases include heart disease, diabetes, and alzheimer’s. Periodontal disease generally takes years of neglect to develop. There are various stages of periodontal disease progression, they include:

-Gingivitis – The earliest stage. The only stage that is reversible with proper dental care. This stage is characterized by swollen, red gum tissues, bleeding upon brushing, as well as bad breath (halitosis). If treated before it progresses, it can be reversed back to a normal, healthy, gingival state.

-Periodontitis – This is the stage that develops following ginigvitis. It is not reversible but can be controlled. Damage to teeth, bone, and gums can be limited with proper dental care. During this stage, the supporting tissues around the teeth may break down leading to gum recession and bone loss around the teeth.

-Advanced Periodontitis – This stage increases the bone loss and gum recession leading to loosening of teeth with the real possibility of losing one or more teeth.

How Do Crooked Teeth Affect Our Mouths?

When teeth are crowded and not aligned properly, the plaque and bacteria that forms on our teeth during everyday food consumption  becomes much more difficult to remove. This makes it difficult to  maintain a good state of health. Many times, flossing and brushing areas of overcrowded teeth will become very difficult. These areas are generally called a “plaque trap” for their ability to constantly trap food and debris.  As mentioned earlier, without proper care, plaque traps can lead to bone loss, gum recession, and even tooth loss.

Another cause for concern is wear and trauma to the teeth. Poorly aligned teeth can create unnatural stresses on the teeth and the jaws. Teeth subjected to excessive pressures can develop chipping, fracturing, and abfractions. Premature wear can also lead to lost teeth, loose teeth and even root canal therapy.

Finally, crowded teeth affect your systemic health by allowing bacteria to grow and flourish unabated in these crowded areas. Over time, this can lead to devastating life threatening effects like heart disease and stroke.

What Can Be Done To Combat Crooked Teeth?

Fortunately, in many cases the simple solution is increased visits to the dentist for professional cleanings as well as diligent  home care.  When there is undue stress placed on the teeth that can cause trauma and wear over time, Orthodontics is the answer in most cases. Orthodontics is a type of dentistry dealing with crowded or misaligned teeth. Proper orthodontic treatment can, in many cases, restore your smile and make it easier to maintain it.

Orthodontics Conclusion

Orthodontics is not just for cosmetic reasons. We are not all born with perfectly straight teeth and sometimes we need a little help to get there. The bottom line is to have beautiful teeth and gums that make you feel confident and healthy. Your smile should  last you a lifetime!