It’s perfectly normal for your upper teeth to be farther forward than your lower teeth. But sometimes, the lower jaw is much farther back than normal, causing an overbite. This condition is sometimes called buck teeth. In today’s blog from Parkcrest Dental Group, we look at FAQs regarding an overbite.
What is an overbite?
This condition happens when the top of your front teeth extend beyond the bottom of the front teeth.
How many people have an overbite?
Around eight percent of people have this jaw misaligment, which comes to about 5 percent of adults and 20 percent of eight to 11-year-olds, according to a study in the 1990s.
How do I know if I have an overbite?
When looking from the front, your upper-front teeth cover the lower teeth to where you can’t see them. Use a mirror, smile to show your teeth while you’re biting down gently. If you can see half or less of your lower teeth, you may have an overbite.
Your dentist or orthodontist can assess if you have an overbite misalignment that needs correction.
Should an overbite be corrected?
In severe cases, this condition should be corrected because of the complications may arise.
How do you fix an overbite?
There are three main treatment options for this type of misalignment:
- Traditional braces or Invisalign
- Tooth extraction
- Surgery (typically for adults)
Your dentist can determine the best course of treatment for you based on your exact situation.
What causes an overbite?
Genetics are the most common cause of this misalignment.
Other causes include:
- Size, shape, or alignment of your jaw
- Thumbsucking past a certain age
- Teeth grinding
What are the symptoms and complications of an overbite?
Complications range from mild to serious. As your child grows older, it’s important to correct an overbite before the jaw stops developing after the teenage years.
- Jaw strain and pain from misalignment
- Speech problems such as mispronouncing specific words or sounds
- Difficulty fully opening or closing your mouth
- Discomfort while eating
- Tooth wear from teeth being in constant contact with each other
- Gum damage from upper teeth hitting the lower gums in severe cases
- Sleep apnea due to obstructed breathing
Do overbites get worse with age?
Yes, if left untreated. The main reason is due to increased strain in your jaw muscles. While this may not seem to be a problem in younger patients, over time the strain becomes worse as your muscles attempt to compensate for misaligned bones.
The more these muscles have to work, the more pain you may experience.
Can I fix an overbite myself?
We do not recommend it. Your dentist or orthodontist can assess your overbite and suggest a treatment option. Traditional braces or Invisalign represent the most common treatment methods, both of which are safe and non-invasive.
Can Parkcrest Dental Group help with an overbite?
It’s also much easier to fix an overbite at a younger age. When you bring your child in for an appointment at Parkcrest Dental Group, we’ll assess the teeth alignment and ask questions. If you experience headaches, jaw pain, or difficulty swallowing, our doctors can look at your adult teeth to see what might be causing the problem and then recommend a treatment option.
Our caring and compassionate staff promises to take care of you and your family! Contact Parkcrest Dental Group or call (417) 887-1220 for more information.