About 22% of people have an overbite, which is a common tooth health problem. When your front teeth stick out over your bottom teeth, you have an overbite. Most people’s top teeth rest slightly in front of their bottom teeth when they close their mouths. The average amount of overlap is 10 to 20%. If your top teeth are more than 20% longer than your bottom teeth, you might have an overbite.
An overbite can make it hard to breathe, chew, or talk, and it could also affect the way your jaws fit together. Also, if you have an overbite, you might feel too self-conscious to smile as much as you want to. Dr. Motiwala has many ways to straighten your smile if you have an overbite and want to fix it. Here’s what you need to know about what causes an overbite and how to fix it for better tooth health and a brighter smile.
What Causes an Overbite?
An overbite is caused by the way your jaw is set, and it is common if your lower jaw is smaller than your upper jaw. An overbite can be passed down through your genes, just like other traits. It’s possible that your parents or grandparents gave it to you. If your family doesn’t have a history of overbites, yours could be caused by something else. Possible overbite reasons include:
- Thumb sucking too much
- Too much biting of nails
- Tongue pushing often
- Frequently sucking the lips
- Bruxism is the name for grinding your teeth all the time
- Using a pacifier a lot after the age of 3
Does an Overbite Cause Problems?
Depending on how bad your overbite is, you might experience uncomfortable or unhealthy side effects.
If you have a severe overbite, it can make it hard to breathe, especially when you’re asleep. If the problem is bad enough, you could get sleep apnea, a disease in which your airway gets blocked while you sleep. This can make you snore, which is annoying, and can even be bad for your health.
Your chin could also hurt if you have an overbite. Temporomandibular diseases, also called TMD or TMJ, can make your jaw hurt or make it feel like it’s locked. Some people with TMJ problems can’t open or close their mouths all the way.
You are also more likely to get gum disease, tooth loss, and cavities if you have an overbite. If tooth decay and cavities aren’t taken care of, they can lead to bigger problems that need crowns, dental implants, root canals, or even pulling a tooth.
Aesthetic Side Effects of an Overbite
In addition to the health risks, having an overbite might make you feel bad about your smile. Smiling and laughing have been shown to be good for your health. Smiling and laughing release hormones, which relieve pain and lower stress. It also helps you get to know people and form emotional ties with them.
If you don’t like the way your teeth look, you might not smile and laugh as much. So, you might not get the chemicals that make you feel good when you smile. Studies have shown that people who got orthodontic treatment to fix their smile were happier with how they looked and had more self-confidence than they were before they got treatment. That means that fixing an overbite could make you feel better even if it isn’t hurting your health.
How to Fix an Overbite
The first thing you need to do to fix your overbite is to come see us at Dr. Motiwala Dental Clinic & Implant Centre. We’ll use x-rays and visual tests to figure out if your smile is straight and if you have an overbite. If you have a minor overbite, we might suggest that you do overbite correction exercises or tongue thrust exercises to train your jaw to be in a different position.
We can also help you get better if you have TMJ or TMD. Treatment for TMJ and TMD includes making a plan based on the cause of your pain and how you feel. We can give you exercises and show you how to adjust your jaw so that it hurts less and your symptoms get better.
If you have a noticeable overbite, we may use orthodontics, like braces or Invisalign, to straighten your teeth and make you feel great about your smile. Depending on how bad your overbite is, we might suggest metal braces or give you the choice of Invisalign. Traditional metal braces have been used by orthodontists to fix crooked teeth for decades. Braces help us move your teeth in a way that makes you happy and gives you a smile you’ll love.
If you want a less obvious way to fix your overbite, we can move your teeth without metal brackets and wires using transparent aligners like Invisalign. Invisalign straightens teeth by having you wear clear plastic trays for at least 22 hours a day. We’ll give you different trays that keep moving your teeth into place as your teeth move. The best thing about Invisalign is that you can take it out to eat, brush your teeth, or take a picture. When you’re done, you put them back where they belong so your smile can change again.
Overbite Correction with Adult Braces
With braces for adults from Dr. Motiwala Dental Clinic & Implant Centre, you can fix an overbite and take care of many other mouth health problems. Even if you had braces when you were a teen, your teeth can move over time. You can fix your teeth and get a beautiful smile at any age with both traditional braces and clear aligners. It’s never too late to look into what you can do to get the smile you want.
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