Overbite And How It's Treated Overbite And How It's Treated

Overbite And How It's Treated

The definition of an overbite and how it is treated is discussed in this post so you can understand how to handle this malocclusion.

You will agree that a very clean, white, and well-aligned teeth is attractive. We see these amazing smiles on the TV, magazines, and at the movies. However, some persons are not lucky enough to have a smile that turns heads. Certain adults and children do experience a type of malocclusion called an overbite. We will be showing you how an overbite can be treated - the different methods, but before we do that, we will first define the condition and why it happens.

Defining a malocclusion

Occlusion defines the alignment of the teeth. This is described as a dental misalignment - when the teeth take a shape that's different from the normal. There are different types of malocclusion: open bites, underbites, crossbites, and of course, overbite.

An overbite happens when the top teeth overhang on the bottom teeth beyond the normal length. Anyone of the three categories can define malocclusion. The class one malocclusion happens when a normal bite is followed by a minor overlap of the top teeth.  This is the commonest malocclusion. When the overbite is very serious, it is classified as class two, and it's sometimes described as retrognathic. Lastly, class three is a chronic underbite, where the bottom teeth overlap the top teeth. This condition is also called prognathic.

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The causes of overbite

The jaw and teeth shape or size is the commonest cause of an overbite. Here, there may be excess space in the jaw area or very small space to contain the teeth. Should this be left untreated, an overbite can cause teeth crowding and will appear crooked should there be very small space, or if the jaw size is very big, the teeth will be separated from each other excessively.

Overbite in children and infants can also be brought by habits such as thumb sucking, regular use of a pacifier, and too much use of a bottle that pushes the tongue against the back of the teeth. On the other hand, overbite in teens and adults can be caused by severe nail-biting and chewing on objects like pencils, pens, and ice cubes.

When you lose a tooth without fixing it on time, this can cause an overbite. Research shows that about 70% of children show symptoms of an overbite. There are other factors responsible for an overbite, including:

  • Teeth grinding
  • Genetics
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ)

What results from an untreated overbite?

Serious health complications can arise if you don't treat an overbite. This includes permanent damage to the teeth from pain in the jaw and an asymmetrical jaw plus temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ). There are other complications of an overbite, including:

  • Pain in the jaw
  • Chronic headache
  • Speaking problems
  • Sleep apnea
  • Eating difficulty
  • Inability to close or open the mouth fully
  • Tooth decay including worn-out enamel, gum diseases, and cavities

The structure of your face can also change if you have a case of untreated overbite. It can even reduce your self-esteem.

Should there be a serious overbite in early childhood and it progresses, your face can take a different shape even before you get to the age of puberty.

How is an overbite treated

The dentist generally refers an overbite patient to an orthodontist for treatment. This case is typically straightforward to treat in children since their jaw is still tender and developing. A very common problem in teens and children is the crowding of teeth. Most adults have developed very serious symptoms of an overbite as they had failed to receive early treatment. Whatever be the case, your dentist or orthodontist will evaluate the condition and make arrangements for a treatment plan for 2 years or more. During your consultation, x-rays will be taken to know the type of overbite you have, and the relationship between the jaw and teeth to decide which treatment will be best.

Your dentist or orthodontist may prescribe the following treatments in treating the problem of overbite:

For teens and children

  • Extraction of baby teeth so that the adult teeth can develop straight on
  • A growth adjustment tool which is typically employed during growth spurts to realign the jaw
  • The use of braces to gradually treat the overbite and the jaw
  • The use of retainers after treatment with braces to help position the teeth

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For adults

  • The use of braces to gradually realign only the teeth to fix an overbite
  • Teeth extraction. This is not easily recommended by orthodontists and dentists. But if the overbite case is serious, this procedure will be implemented so that the teeth can have more space to move freely
  • In adults, the skeletal kind of overbite which affects the jaw can only be fixed via surgery.

Should your overbite be giving you problems, see your orthodontist or dental surgeon for treatment. It is very important whether you are an adult or child that you make regular and early visits to the dentist, to keep oral problems at bay.

Dentists recommend that at the age of 7, your child should undergo a dental check-up to know if they have an overbite. On the other hand, adults need to go for regular check-ups every 6 to 12 months to make sure any suspected malocclusion like overbite is treated on time so that complications of overbite which affects the face physically can be avoided.

Would you like to know more about overbite or you have one already? Head straight to us at Adult Braces London. We have highly qualified dentists and orthodontists that will take care of your needs and give you the best treatment possible.

Our orthodontists can answer all your questions if you have any. Do not wait until it is advanced before you get treated for an overbite since the complications are far more severe than envisaged.

Please feel free to book an appointment with any of our experienced orthodontists today.

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