What is an overbite?
Overbite, also known as buck teeth, is a type of malocclusion in which the upper set of teeth overlaps the lower set of teeth. It is caused when the jaws do not align, and the upper teeth protrude more than 2 mm, a usual horizontal distance between the upper and lower teeth.
Many people go without treating buck teeth but reconsider it when they start facing problems. So, let’s discuss how to fix an overbite after talking about its causes.
Causes of an Overbite or Buck Teeth
Overbite teeth can be caused over time when the tongue pushes the back of teeth. This is common in childhood but can also continue in adulthood due to various reasons such as swollen tonsils and poor chewing and swallowing habits. Stress can also be the reason for tongue-thrusting in sleep.
Thumb-sucking in childhood is one of the leading overbite causes. When the teeth and jaw are still in their development stage, the pressure from the thumb can interfere in their natural growth. And when the thumb-sucking habit continues past the age of 3 or 4, the permanent teeth tend to grow in abnormally at an incorrect angle.
Overuse of pacifier has a similar effect on teeth as thumb-sucking. In fact, according to the Journal of the American Dental Association, the risk of malocclusion is higher with the overuse of pacifier as compared to thumb-sucking habits.
Uneven jaw, such as a smaller upper or lower jaw, is unavoidable when it is the case of genetic overbite. This means that if parents or other blood relatives have overbite teeth, children may have overbite teeth too.
Even a single missing tooth can change the alignment of the rest of the teeth over time and create an appearance of buck teeth. On the other hand, overcrowded teeth can make the teeth protrude due to lack of space for accommodating all the teeth.
- Tongue Thrusting
- Overuse of Pacifier
- Missing or Crowded Teeth
Health Risks Due to Overbite Teeth
The risks associated with overbite depend on how severe the problem is. However, here are a few commonly occurring issues:
- Worn out tooth enamel
- Increased risk of gum disease
- Speech impediment
- Teeth grinding
- Discomfort while chewing
- Jaw pain
- Severe headaches
- Breathing issues
Buck Teeth Treatment
Overbite correction treatments vary in different cases, depending on the severity of overbite. Your orthodontist will examine your smile and suggest the best way to fix overbite based on the positioning of your jaw and teeth.
Let’s understand overbite correction methods.
Overbite braces are very effective in treating overbite problems in childhood and teenage years since the pressure from the wires push the teeth into the correct position. However, adults too, can benefit from braces. During orthodontic treatment, the wires are tightened multiple times so that they keep applying the pressure required.
In case of overcrowded teeth, your orthodontist may suggest tooth extraction to make space for the rest of the teeth to align correctly.
Can Invisalign fix an overbite? Yes, Invisalign can correct minor malocclusion problems in children and adults. In the Invisalign treatment, a series of clear plastic aligners will be custom-designed for you to fit your teeth perfectly. You will be required to move from one mold to the other over a period of time until the teeth move into the desired position.
Invisalign is a preferred orthodontic treatment in adults because of its clear aligners that can often go unnoticed, unlike braces with metal wires and brackets. However, Invisalign costs more than the traditional wire and bracket braces.
Your orthodontist will suggest palate expansion if the upper jaw is too small for all the teeth to fit perfectly. The treatment includes a palate expansion appliance called a palate expander which is attached to the upper set of molars. It consists of an expansion screw that moves them apart over a period of time to widen the palate. When the palate is widened, the teeth can easily move into their correct position.
Overbite surgery is usually required in adults whose jaws cannot grow anymore to fix the overbite problem.
- Palate Expansion
- Overbite Surgery
Ideal Overbite Treatment for Children and Teens
- Growth modification device
- Removal of baby teeth
Ideal Overbite Treatment for Adults
- Teeth removal
The problem of overbite teeth shouldn’t be overlooked since it can result in severe health issues. So, book an appointment with Koch Orthodontics today and let experts suggest the best overbite correction method for you.