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.
–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.
-Pain upon eating and chewing.
–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!