Overbite is an oral condition that many patients experience. It occurs when the front teeth are misaligned with the rest of the jaw. This results in the patient having their upper front teeth sticking out from the rest of the mouth.
Under normal conditions, the front teeth may stick out from the rest of the mouth by only a few millimeters (about 2-4mm). When the front teeth are overhanging the mouth by anywhere between 4-10mm, this condition is referred to as a deep overbite. Deep overbite normally causes symptoms such as headaches, grinding teeth, and a short, rounded facial structure.
How can you tell if you have overbite?
You may be wondering if indeed you have overbite and whether you need to visit a dentist to have it corrected. Here are some of the most common signs of overbite.
Overhanging front teeth
Most overbite patients have a hard time closing their mouth and keeping all teeth inside. This is because the protrusion of the upper teeth can push outwards towards the lip itself. The front teeth can therefore interfere with speech or cause difficulty in biting and chewing food.
The overhang can also lead to a self-conscious nature and a lack of confidence in public spaces.
Overbite patients may experience frequent headaches. This occurs because the front jaw tends to exert a backward force on the lower jaw, causing it to put pressure on the ears and the rest of the head. This undue pressure results in discomfort and headaches.
Worn out front teeth
The overhang of the front teeth during overbite often leads to misalignment with the rest of the teeth in the mouth. As a result, the tooth surfaces end up grinding against each other and becoming worn out over time. The wear and tear can be noticed on the outer enamel layer.
How will a dentist fix an overbite?
To relieve a patient of overbite symptoms, a dentist will usually carry out a combination of procedures.
Braces are the most common and simplest form of overbite treatment available. Braces can be installed on the upper teeth and cause them to slowly readjust to an inward position over time.
The movement of the upper teeth is carefully guided to regain alignment with the lower teeth.
In more severe cases of overbite, a dentist may need to carry out overbite surgery. This is a procedure that involves surgically adjusting and realigning the jaw to its correct position. An incision will be made on opposite ends of the jaw, after which it will be strategically repositioned through a series of corrective movements.
Metal plates may be necessary to hold the jaw in position until it fully heals. Overbite surgery is also effective at correcting a lower chin that tends to be sucked inwards, resulting in a longer and more natural face after surgery.Share