If you have an overbite, you are not alone. Most people have a slight one, and it usually causes no issues. However, if your overbite is pronounced, you may need orthodontics to correct the issue. Prominent overbites can cause health and dental issues if not corrected. Fortunately, you have options on how to reduce or eliminate a severe overbite. Read on to learn more about overbite causes and solutions.
What Is an Overbite?
An overbite is a condition where the top teeth overlap the bottom teeth. You can have an overbite but have normal jaw alignment otherwise. Other people may have a more severe case where the jaws don't line up with the front teeth protruding noticeably (also known as buck teeth). If the problem is under a certain percentage of overlap, you may not need treatment. The orthodontist will tell you how severe your case is after an exam.
Why Do People Have Overbites?
Some overbite causes are natural. For example, it can be in your genetics. Your upper jaw may also be too small to accommodate all of your teeth. The back and side teeth push out the front teeth when there is not enough room.
However, some overbites have an unnatural cause. Thumb-sucking and pacifier use may lead to a more pronounced overbite.
What Problems Can Overbites Cause?
Overbites can interfere with tongue position and contribute to breathing issues and sleep apnea. Some people have problems speaking with an overbite. You may also have problems with jaw pain and headaches due to muscle strain from the poorly aligned jaw.
How Can Orthodontics Help With Overbites?
Orthodontics can help with overbites by aligning the teeth and jaw into their proper position. Clear aligners and braces are the most successful methods. They use bands to help position the jaw into place. However, severe cases in adults may need surgery and potential tooth removal to correct the problem.
Surgery is less likely to be necessary for children. However, removing some baby teeth and employing a growth modification device can help make room for adult teeth and reduce crowding issues.
A severe overbite is more than a cosmetic problem. Any noticeable jaw misalignment can lead to future issues. The earlier you treat the condition, the more likely you are to get good results. If your overbite causes you a problem, talk to an orthodontist to see what options you have. Mild cases may only need minimal treatment. So, you may not have to go through a lot to correct the problem. Reach out to an orthodontist if you have a major overbite.