July 14, 2024

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The Impact of Overbites on Oral Health and Aesthetics

Misalignments are common especially among children due to improper teeth eruption. This can lead to poor bite, compromised chewing, gum disease, and poor aesthetics. There are several forms of misalignments, and one among them is overbite. It refers to a vertical misalignment of your teeth that can lead to a variety of adverse consequences. Fairfield, ME dental office specialists require early detection and prompt treatment to manage overbite. Let us find out more about overbite and ways to manage it. 

A comprehensive guide to overbite 

An overbite is a type of malocclusion or bad bite. It occurs when your upper teeth overlap your lower teeth more than they should. A minor overbite is normal, but if the overlap exceeds 2 to 4 mm it requires treatment. It could lead to jaw pain, tooth erosion, and other oral conditions. 

Causes of overbite

In some cases, malocclusion is genetics (runs in the family). Other causes include:

  • Excessive nail biting 
  • Teeth grinding 
  • Tongue thrusting 
  • Thumb sucking 
  • Pacifier use 

Clinical features of overbite 

Overbite can lead to the following clinical features: 

  • Tooth erosion (excessive wear and tear)
  • Breathing issues 
  • Pain while chewing 
  • Gum disease 
  • Jaw pain
  • TMJ disorders 
  • Cavities 
  • Speech challenges

Possible ways to prevent overbite

You cannot completely prevent overbite. But there are certain tips to reduce the likelihood that your child will develop an overbite during the early stages of life:

  • Avoid traditional sippy cups 
  • Keep an eye on thumb sucking or pacifier use 
  • Take your child to the dentist regularly 

Potential treatment options for overbite 

The treatment for overbite depends on several factors such as the severity and the age of the patient. Overbite treatment varies for children and adults. 

Options to fix overbite in children 

  • Palate expanders to widen the roof of the palate
  • Headgear to correct jaw position 
  • Braces to move all teeth into proper alignment 
  • Removal of primary teeth to make room for adult teeth 
  • Retainers to keep teeth in alignment after braces 

Options to fix overbite in adults 

  • Traditional or clear braces to move teeth into their correct position 
  • Tooth extractions to give the remaining teeth more space 
  • Corrective jaw surgeries to improve alignment 
  • Retainers to prevent tooth movement after treatment

An overbite is a common type of malocclusion where the upper teeth significantly overlap the lower teeth. While not everyone with an overbite needs treatment, it is important to seek dental advice if it is severely affecting your oral health and aesthetics. A dentist can provide further evaluation and management options.