An overbite is a vertical overlap or horizontal gap between the top and bottom front teeth. The vertical overlap results from the top front teeth hanging over and covering the bottom front teeth. The horizontal gap is when the top teeth are pushed out in front of the bottom teeth but they don’t protrude.
Aside from the horizontal gap and vertical overlap, the two main types of overbites are skeletal and dental. The skeletal overbite results from the jaw developing irregularly. The dental overbite results from complications with the development of baby or adult teeth. For example, complications include overcrowding or pressure from thumb sucking.
There are a few contributing factors that cause people to develop overbites. For example, some of those factors include thumb sucking, overusing bottles or pacifiers, nail-biting, and chewing on objects like pencils and pens. Other causes could be genetics or a jaw that develops abnormally during the fetal stage.
Yes, overbites should be corrected so that the teeth can remain in excellent condition for as long as possible. Overbites tend to wear the teeth down more quickly. Due to the structure (and potentially overcrowded teeth), it can be hard to keep them clean, which could result in poor dental hygiene. Over time, poor dental hygiene could lead to cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss. This happens when plaque and bacteria build-up, eat away at the enamel and irritate the gums.
Other reasons to correct an overbite include facial pain, especially at the roof of the mouth if the bottom row is biting the surface. If left untreated, this could cause painful sores and/or ulcers. Even eating can become painful. Overbites can also cause speech problems and an off-balance facial structure.
Therefore, fixing overbites is important for protecting the teeth and preserving their longevity.
There are several treatment options for correcting overbites depending on the severity of the bite. After a dentist thoroughly evaluates the mouth, they will be able to select the best available option. Most treatment plans include braces and a retainer. As long as individuals wear their retainers, the results are expected to last for a lifetime. For those that don’t want braces, clear aligners are also an effective solution for mild and moderate overbites. Using clear aligners is often quicker than metal braces.
Those with severe overbites may be required to get jaw surgery.
At McBride Dental, we offer MTM Clear Aligners for patients who have misaligned teeth, overbites, and underbites. After a consultation with Dr. McBride, patients will receive a customized aligners that they will switch out every couple of weeks. This process is a lot quicker than metal braces and less difficult. Patients can remove the aligners whenever they eat, which makes cleaning the teeth way easier. If you are interested in getting clear aligners, call us today to schedule at (760) 471-1003. We are excited to help you reach your oral health goals.