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What is an Overbite and how easy is it to fix?

Overbite correction

An Overbite is a common orthodontic problem. If your top teeth overlap your bottom teeth, you have an overbite and you may want to consider overbite correction.

What causes an overbite?

The most common cause of an overbite is the shape or size of the jaw or teeth. Genetic and hereditary factors are the major causes of an overbite, however childhood habits such as extensive thumb sucking, prolonged bottle feeding and tongue thrusting can can also exacerbate underlying genetic traits to increase an overbite.

Does everybody have an Overbite?

Yes, an overbite is a completely normal occurrence and nearly everybody has one. A small amount of overlap is normal for everybody. However, a problematic overbite that requires correction occurs when your overbite is either too small or too large. A problematic overbite results in a varying degree of difficulty when it comes to chewing or speaking and can also lead to pain, excessive tooth wear, and aesthetic issues. A problematic overbite needs to be addressed by a professional. If you think you have an overbite, a consultation with an orthodontist is the first step. Overbite correction will be key to your treatment.

Different Types of Overbites

There are two main ways of categorising an overbite. These are dental overbites and skeletal overbites:

  • A Dental Overbite
    This type of overbite occurs when your teeth aren’t properly aligned. In such cases, your lower jaw may be well balanced with your upper jaw, but the misalignment of your teeth causes your lower jaw to force back towards your neck. Typically, nonsurgical treatments work well for this type of overbite correction for kids, teens and adults.
  • A Skeletal Overbite
    With this type of overbite, your lower jaw is too small to fit your upper jaw. As a result, the upper rows of teeth push forward over your small jaw. Skeletal overbites usually require surgical solutions to realign the jaw as an adult but may still be corrected using nonsurgical treatments for kids and teens since a child’s jaw is still developing.

Why is it important to correct an overbite?

If left untreated, an overbite can cause significant health complications including:

  • Jaw Pain
    A misaligned jaw can cause chronic jaw pain and headaches, which may contribute to the development of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD).
  • Sleep apnoea
    Not getting enough sleep? People with overbites are more likely to develop obstructive sleep apnoea.
  • Fractured teeth and increased wear and tear
    When you have an overbite, your teeth will often hit each other during rest and function, causing enamel wear and tear, tooth fracture and even tooth loss.
  • Gum damage
    In severe cases, the lower front teeth can contact the gum line in the back of the upper front teeth, while the upper front teeth may strike the gum line of the lower front teeth. This could result in gum recession, gum disease, and even wiggly loose teeth.

Can Invisalign fix an overbite?

Orthodontists are often asked if Invisalign treatment can fix an overbite. The answer is yes! After an examination, your orthodontist can diagnose the severity of your overbite and suggest the best method for correction. For most people at Clear Smiles Orthodontics that means Invisalign Clear Aligners but sometimes, the overbite occurs due to a malformed jaw, so surgery may be required.

Overbite Correction for kids and teens

For Kids, aside from unavoidable genetic and hereditary factors, the major causes are the same childhood habits mentioned above that lead to problematic overbites later in life. For teens, overcrowded teeth is the most common problem causing an overbite. Fortunately, correction of overbites for kids and teens tend to be easier due to the jaw still being in a growth phase. It is important that your child sees an orthodontist as early as possible as they will help you make the right decision about how to treat your child’s overbite. Dr Semaan offers free orthodontic observation and treatment plans for kids and teens on the Gold Coast. You can book your child into his Robina clinic online today. 

Overbite Correction for Adults

Doctors use a percentage to describe overbites, and a 5 to 25 percent overbite is ideal. This translates to a measurement range that is around 2 – 4mm for the average overbite that remains aesthetically appealing. If you think you have an overbite as an adult, or aren’t happy with how your teeth look, your first step is to seek the opinion of a specialist orthodontist. Clear Smiles Orthodontics offers free orthodontic consultations on the Gold Coast and Dr Semaan can put you to ease about the severity of your overbite and develop a personalised overbite correction treatment plan for you.