Overbites are one of the most common dental concerns. While you can live with an overbite, it may have severe consequences if you don’t do something about it.
Here, we will discuss what exactly an overbite is, how it affects your body, how to prevent it, and many other things. Keep on reading to learn more about overbites.
What Is an Overbite?
Let’s define what an overbite is. An overbite is when your top front teeth extend beyond your bottom front teeth. Simply put, your top teeth and bottom teeth are misaligned. They don’t touch each other because the top part is more forward than the bottom part. An overbite is also called buck teeth. It is a type of malocclusion, meaning you have crooked teeth or a poor bite.
How Does an Overbite Affect Your Body?
Overbites can be minor or severe. However, minor overbites don’t mean that they won’t affect your body. You may not notice it right away, but you’ll suffer from its effects over time. If you have failed to correct your overbite, it may lead to breathing challenges, difficulty or pain while chewing, and tooth decay or cavities. In the worst cases, you may also suffer from gum disease, jaw pain or temporomandibular disorders (TMD), and even speech problems.
How Do Overbites Occur?
If you’re wondering why you have an overbite, it may be because you got it from one of your family members. Just so you know, overbites are hereditary. You can have it through genetic traits.
But, if none from your family has an overbite, you may have it because of excessive nail-biting, teeth grinding, thumb sucking, or nonnutritive sucking behavior when you were a child, tongue-thrusting, or because of the use of a pacifier, especially if you still used it past the age of three.
How Will You Know If You Have an Overbite?
Overbites are easy to recognize. You can know if you have it by simply looking at your teeth’s appearance. If you notice that your top front teeth overlap past your bottom front teeth, then you can conclude that you have an overbite. You can also know if you have an overbite if you’re having difficulty opening or closing your mouth thoroughly, discomfort while you’re eating, having jaw pains, or you’re having trouble with your speeches.
How Can Your Overbite Get Treated?
Correcting your overbite may depend on the assessment of your dentist. Generally, children and adults have different courses of treatment for overbites. If your overbite is caught during your childhood days, your dentist may do the following procedures:
- They may use growth modification devices or palate expanders to reposition your jaw.
- They may install braces to move your teeth into correct positions slowly.
- They may remove some of your baby teeth or permanent teeth to make room for adult teeth.
- They may recommend you use retainers to keep the teeth in alignment after braces.
If you’re already an adult when you decide to correct your overbite, your dentist may:
- Install braces to remove only the teeth affected by the overbite.
- Perform surgery to correct jaw alignment.
- Remove some teeth to give the remaining teeth more room.
Now that you know more about overbites, it’s time to have yours corrected. Remember, if you fail to correct your overbites, you may suffer from severe consequences. So, don’t wait for those consequences to happen and have your overbite corrected as soon as possible. Consult your dentist and flash that big smile in no time.
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