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What Should You Do if You Have an Overbite?


Posted on 5/20/2017 by Andrew Zeiger
A teenage girl suffering from a painful overbite.
Your smile says a lot about you. But when you have an oral imperfection, your confidence can be negatively impacted.

You may avoid smiling, which can give those around you the wrong impression. There are many dental imperfections that can have this effect, including an overbite.

What is an Overbite?


An overbite is a type of malocclusion, or bad bite. Normally, your upper teeth just overlap your lower ones. Having an overbite means that your top teeth are further out from your lower teeth than they should be. This can be a slight overlap (which is rather common) to a severe one.

Overbite Causes


Overbites are often the result of genetics. They can also be caused by certain habits, such as thumb sucking or using a pacifier as a child. Quite often, these habits lead to an overdeveloped upper jaw while the lower jaw is underdeveloped.

Effects of an Overbite


Overbites can have a significant impact on your oral health, leading to such problems as:

•  TMJ disorder.
•  Excessive wear on your teeth.
•  Tooth decay.
•  Trouble eating and speaking.
•  Sleep apnea.

Overbite Treatment Options


Mild overbites may not need correction. Should you want, there are a few different treatment options available for correcting an overbite. The right treatment method depends on if the overbite is dental or skeletal.

Orthodontic treatment is the most common treatment. Braces are used to correct the alignment of the teeth while bands, or other orthodontic appliances, help to guide the jaw back into the correct position.

More severe overbites, though, will most likely require oral surgery to effectively correct them. This procedure moves the lower jaw forward, to properly align with the upper jaw. An oral exam, complete with X-rays, is required to determine the severity of your overbite, and therefore the best course of action.

Correcting an overbite not only fixes the health issues associated with it, it can also do wonders to improve your confidence. You will no longer be shy about showing off your smile. Contact our office to discuss your overbite treatment options.

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