Many people think that correcting dental issues like overbites is difficult and takes a long time, so they prefer to live with the overbite. Orthodontists recommend the early correction of overbite to avoid other health complications.
An overbite is a dental flaw that you can easily correct with different orthodontic devices like Invisalign in London. For you to fix an overbite, you need to understand what it is and what causes it.
What is an overbite?
Medically, an overbite is known as a malocclusion. It occurs when the upper arch of the jaw overlaps with the lower part. Some persons develop a slight overbite of about one millimetre or two, while others may develop severe overbites.
Causes of overbite?
A major factor that affects the presence or absence of overbite is genetics. Other factors include bad habits and poor oral hygiene.
In children, excessive sucking of the thumb can cause an overbite because, when the tongue is in the mouth, it tends to push the lower teeth backwards while the upper jaw and teeth move forward.
Sometimes the problem of an overbite may seem to be caused by crooked teeth, but it usually arises from misalignment of the jaws and teeth. Some people naturally have malformed jaws, resulting from uneven development during their younger ages.
For most people, their overbite developed from chewing writing objects like a pen. Always biting the nails is also a cause of overbites.
Generally, the causes of an overbite include
- Teeth grinding
- Poor oral habits
- Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ)
Risk of having an overbite
An overbite is a complicated dental problem, and if you do not treat it on time, it could cause severe health complication and pain in the jaw. Untreated overbite also leads to permanent teeth damage, resulting from abnormal teeth positioning, TMJ and several other health problems.
Treatment for overbites
Your dentist may refer you to get specialised treatment from an orthodontist if you have an overbite. In children and teenagers, crowding is a common symptom of overbites while adults usually have more severe symptoms from lack of preventive care earlier in their lives.
There are several treatment options for correcting overbite and other orthodontic issues. Before any treatment, you need an x-ray which helps your orthodontist to determine the kind of overbite you have and the position of your teeth and jaw. This allows your orthodontist to know the right course of treatment suitable for you.
Treatment options for children and teens
The following are available treatments option for teens and children.
- Teeth removal– the orthodontist may decide to remove the baby teeth to create more space for the permanent teeth
- Growth modification devices- this helps to move the jaw to a better position
- Braces – the braces will gradually move the teeth to their right position which helps correct the placement of the jaw and overbite
- Retainers- this is a post-braces treatment which helps keep the teeth in their perfect position for a long time after treatment with braces
Treatment options for braces
- Braces – adult braces move the teeth to their right positions to correct the overbite
- Teeth removal– the orthodontist or dentist may recommend this treatment only if it is necessary. Removing the teeth creates more room for movement of other teeth.
- Surgery– if your overbite is due to a skeletal problem of the jaw, the only option for correction may be a jaw surgery.
If you have an overbite and it gives you concern, you should schedule an appointment with your orthodontist to get the right treatment. Children, teens, as well as adults, can treat overbites as this helps prevent further dental problems. Children from the age of seven can get a dental examination to check for an overbite.
It would be best to visit your dentist every six months for your regular dental check-up as this helps you detect dental issues early.
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