What is an Overbite?
An overbite is caused when your upper teeth extend beyond your lower teeth and the proportion of this protrusion is somewhere between 30-50%. This condition is medically termed as malocclusion. Oftentimes, an overbite seems to be an oral problem for those with crooked teeth but in reality, it is due to misaligned teeth and jaws. An overbite can also be hereditary in some children who are born with a malformed jaw. If an overbite is not treated in time, it can persist and invite other oral problems.
What Causes an Overbite?
The most common causes of an overbite are:
Shape or Size of the Jaw or Teeth
The shape and size of the jaw and teeth affect the way the teeth line up. A malformed jaw that has unevenly developed teeth could either leave too much or too little room for accommodating all the teeth uniformly. This can lead to spacing or crowding issues depending on the size of the jaw.
Some people are born with a malformed jaw and exhibit the signs of an overbite later. This condition often runs in the family so either their parents or siblings or close relatives may have a similar appearance.
- Habits like Thumb Sucking and Tongue Thrusting
When infants and children have habits like thumb-sucking or tongue thrusting due to constant use of pacifier or prolonged feeding with bottle, it results in an overbite. Also habits that are developed later in life like nail-biting or head-chewing can cause an overbite.
If left untreated, an overbite can invite complications like cavities, gum disease, jaw pain, severe headaches, sleep apnea, Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, and difficulty while chewing and speaking.
Orthodontic Treatments for Correcting an Overbite
Below are some safe and effective treatments your orthodontist may use to correct an overbite:
For Children and Teens
- Removal of baby teeth to create space for permanent teeth to erupt naturally and grow straight
- Dental braces can be used to gradually and gently move the teeth in their desired position. This helps in correcting the overbite and better positions the jaw
- Retainers can be used after the removal of teeth braces to ensure that the teeth stay in their place
- Teeth braces can be used to move the teeth and fix the overbite
- Jaw problems that are caused by skeletal-type overbites can only be corrected with a surgery
If your overbite is causing problems, don’t wait until surgery becomes your only option. Book an appointment today with Dr. Pai, a trusted orthodontist in Carmel with over 14 years of experience.
Dr. Pai can help you prevent potentially severe implications at a later stage. Moreover, while the problem is still developing, the orthodontic treatment is much less complicated and cost-effective and you have more treatment options available. So, call now and know the best treatment option for you based on your needs.