Understanding Overbites: Causes, Impacts, and Correction Methods

Understanding Overbites: Causes, Impacts, and Correction Methods

Do you have an overbite? This common dental condition affects about 1 in 3 people, so you’re not alone. While it may seem like a purely aesthetic issue, overbites can contribute to problematic symptoms if left unchecked. Read on as we explain what constitutes an overbite, what causes this misaligned bite in the first place, associated health impacts, and effective solutions available for realigning your smile and function.

What Exactly is an Overbite?

Also referred to as a deep bite, overbite describes having upper front teeth excessively overlapping the lower front teeth when closing your mouth. A normal overjet is 2-4mm of overlap, but 5mm beyond this is considered an overbite needing correction to avoid worsening of other issues over time.

Classifying Mild, Moderate and Severe

Overbites are visually classified by millimeters of overlapping front tooth coverage:

  • Mild = 5-8 mm overlap
  • Moderate = 8-10 mm overlap
  • Severe = 10+ mm overlap with lower teeth fully obstructed by uppers

Common Causes and Contributing Factors

Genetic inheritance plays a key role, with overbites running in families. Jaw development differences including upper jaw size and growth direction can encourage overbite progression. Childhood habits like excessive thumb-sucking beyond age 5 shift teeth improperly over time. Missing teeth and uneven biting distribution also worsen overlap. Even defective fillings altering bite height promote overbite issues emerging.

Associated Symptoms and Health Impacts

Beyond unpleasant smile aesthetics, overbites contribute to bite instability, cheek/gum injury potential and uneven tooth wear over decades. Jaw joint popping, ear pain, migraine headaches and chiropractic spinal misalignments also commonly stem from imbalanced bite planes. Speech impairment and conversational spit spraying can also occur from teasers not correctly limiting airflow.

Overbite Correction Methods

Removable Clear Aligner Therapy

Custom clear trays are worn in sequenced series to incrementally guide teeth into proper positional alignment. Complimentary whitening is included. Average treatment spans of Overbite in the UK 1-2 years with regular dental monitoring.

Traditional Metal Braces

Brackets bonded directly to teeth surfaces apply light controlled pressure over time to straighten, level and guide to an optimal bite plane for stability and health. Generally 1-3 years treatment period depending on case severity, with frequent adjustments by orthodontists.

Lingual Hidden Braces

Placed discreetly along tongue-facing tooth surfaces, these low profile metal or ceramic brackets realign the bite without visible front outward appearance. Enables treatment during professional public roles with no external wear detectable.

Invisalign Teen Solution

Using the same incremental clear aligner technology as standard Invisalign, these trays fast-track teenage bite correction developmentally alongside natural remaining facial growth changes with special Blue Dot wear-tracking compliance assurance.

Enamel Recontouring Selectively

For mild overbite conditions under 5mm discrepancy, subtly reshaping upper front teeth enamel improves closure direction without wholesale realignment. Quick low-impact cosmetic adjustment.

Smile Bright: A Comprehensive Guide to Dental Bonding Costs and Information

With various options now available from subtle to more intensive intervention, overbites and other orthodontic problems can be corrected successfully at any age to restore smile function and prevent worsening of associated health issues. Consult our knowledgeable dental team to determine the ideal solution tailored around your unique bite needs and goals!

Is Overbite Bad?

Yes, an untreated overbite can lead to several problems over time. Here’s a more detailed overview on why an overbite is considered detrimental:

Aesthetic Changes

A severe overbite causes the lower teeth to gradually sink inwards, while the upper front teeth become more exposed. This results in visible shortening of the lower third of the face. It gives the smile an aged look prematurely.

Enamel Wear

The excessive downward overlap eventually grinds down the biting surfaces as upper teeth make heavy contact with lower teeth instead of routine food chewing. That frictional wear may expose tender dentin clinically.

Bone Loss Risk

Misaligned jaw positions apply uneven chewing pressures that can cause gum recession or areas of bone density reduction. Mobile teeth may emerge requiring intervention.

Temporomandibular Joint Issues

The jaw joint and muscular control systems strain to function when the bite alignment is off. Eventual TMJ disorders including Pain, clicking, limited motion or locking open/closed arise. Headaches and myofascial pain commonly follow.

Speech, Breathing Impacts

Positioning of the lips, tongue and jaw are integral to clear speech pronunciation. Misalignments contribute to lisping, inability to make certain sounds like “s”, and air escaping during words unintentionally. Misdirected breathing patterns through the nose can also develop.

How to fix overbite?

Here are some tips on how to fix an overbite:

  • Orthodontic Treatment The most effective way to correct an overbite is through orthodontic treatment such as braces or clear aligners. These work by applying controlled pressure to the teeth and jaw over time, guiding them into proper alignment. Treatment times vary from 1-3 years on average.
  • Dental Appliances Special dental appliances worn in the mouth can reshape the jaw position using bite plates and wires. These physically shift teeth into better orientation through consistent wear. Common options include Herbst appliances, MARA devices, or orthotic bite splints.
  • Tooth Remodeling: For mild overbite issues under 5mm overlap, selectively reshaping the biting surfaces of upper front teeth enamel can improve closure direction. This enameloplasty is a conservative single visit procedure.
  • Improving Habits Eliminating any persistent habits like thumb-sucking and tongue thrusting can help prevent overbite worsening. Proper tongue posture on the roof of the mouth also encourages favorable growth.
  • Early Interception In children, early orthodontic evaluation around age 7 provides opportunity to intercept emerging bite issues through series of removable appliances opening space for erupting teeth to shift favorably. Quick intervention in developmental years prevents embedded complications.

With multiple treatment modalities now available, overbites can be successfully corrected. Consulting an orthodontist determines which solution best meets your unique smile goals and bite needs for optimal function. Don’t hesitate to have a problematic overbite assessed! Contact Chatfield Dental Braces to fix your Overbite UK with our dentists today!