A perfectly aligned, healthy smile is a treat to the eyes and an epitome of a healthy body. Unfortunately, not everyone has a picture-perfect smile. Their front teeth excessively protrude and overlap on their lower teeth, causing an overbite in teeth or buckteeth.
Believe it or not, slight overbite in adults and kids is often a part of normal occlusion. But severe overbite needs correction; otherwise, it will lead to many dental problems.
There will be many questions nagging at the back of your head. So, let us help you deal with your overbite teeth problems.
What is overbite teeth?
An overbite, commonly known as buck teeth, is a misalignment or malocclusion.
Buck teeth or malocclusion occurs when the teeth do not align with each other normally. It is a deviation from normal alignment causing cross-bite, underbite, open bite, or overbite.
A normal overbite (within a certain range) is the overlap of the upper teeth and the lower in the vertical plane. When this limit exceeds, there is excessive overlapping and an overbite in teeth.
Now, you may ask,
How much overbite is normal?
In normal occlusion, 1-3 mm of overbite in adults or kids is acceptable. If the overbite exceeds 3mm, it needs immediate dental care. An overbite is one of the most common causes of orthodontic treatment. The good news is – this condition is treatable. Moreover, overbite teeth before and after the treatment tell a different story.
There must be a reason that overbites occur. Yes, there are- not one but many that lead to overbite in straight teeth.
Before we jump onto the causes of an overbite, let us learn about the different types.
Types of Overbite in Teeth
An overbite can occur in two ways: a skeletal overbite or a dental overbite. Hardly, an overbite in teeth can also occur as a combination of these two.
It occurs when there is a problem with the jawbone. Jaws and teeth align in a specific way. If the development of the jawbone is irregular, it leads to the disproportion between the teeth and the jaw. As a result, skeletal overbite occurs. For this type, the treatment often involves jawbone correction.
It occurs when there is a problem with dental development. The upper teeth interrupt the alignment and abnormally overlap the lower ones. For this type of overbite, in most cases dentists use braces.
In some patients, rarely, do both skeletal and dental overbite in teeth occurs together. However, such a condition requires a more rigorous overbite correction.
To understand the difference between the two types here is an easy breakdown for you:
Dental VS Skeletal Overbite
|Dental Overbite||Skeletal Overbite|
|Source of problem||Misaligned dentition||Irregular development of the jawbone|
|Cause of the problem||Thumb sucking, Nail biting, prolong use of pacifiers, Tongue thrust||Genetics|
|Treatment for overbite teeth||Braces||Jaw correction surgery, Braces|
Overbite Teeth according to the Severity
Another way to categorize the type of overbite in teeth is according to severity.
- Normal: 1-3 mm
- Deep overbite: 4-8mm
- Severe overbite: 9 mm or more (also known as an impinging overbite)
Impinging overbite is the most severe type of overbite in teeth. The upper front teeth vertically overlap the bottom teeth to the extent that the lower teeth hit the palate. It happens whenever the mouth is closed. If the condition is left untreated, this condition can damage the bone around the upper teeth. As a result, the patient may face excessive trauma or even loss of front upper teeth.
Causes of Overbite in Teeth
To treat the overbite successfully, finding the root cause and eliminating it is essential. While most of the causes are in human control, some happen, causing an overbite in straight teeth.
Inheritance or Genetics:
Some problems are always in the genes, and you have no control over them. Yes, you have read that right. It is not necessary to only inherit property and money; sometimes, you get dental problems too. Skeletal overbite occurs due to this cause. You inherit problematic genes that cause irregularities in the jaw bone development.
Overcrowding of teeth:
Overcrowding of teeth can occur due to having a small jaw. When there is insufficient space to accommodate all of your teeth, overbite happens. Or, it can also happen over time, when there is early loss of teeth with no replacement.
Overcrowding causes many dental problems. Such as dental cavities, and gum diseases and even exacerbate the pain of a growing wisdom tooth.
Bad habits, including thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, and biting on nails or pencils, can lead to a dental overbite in adults or kids. Moreover, if pacifiers are prolonged in childhood, overbite in teeth will occur.
You may habitually be grinding or clenching your teeth in anger or in sleep (bruxism). This unconscious grinding of teeth reduces the vertical height of all teeth. As a result, an excessive overlap between the upper and lower teeth leads to an overbite.
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction or TMJ problems:
It is unnecessary that jaw bone-related problems only occur due to bad genes. Often, overbite in adults can occur as TMJ problems arise with age. There can be joint disfunction, trauma or an underlying oral problem causing stiffness in the TMJ.
No matter the reason, it is important to get treatment for overbite teeth from licensed and experienced dental personnel. There is a significant improvement in your smile and overbite teeth before and after you seek dental care.
Symptoms of Overbite in Teeth
Most of the time, people with an overbite will not know about their condition. Not unless they experience certain symptoms that may hamper their normal routine.
As a result of an overbite, you may become a victim of:
- Limited mouth opening
- Difficulty and pain in opening or closing the mouth
- Pain on biting and chewing food
- Constant and often aggressive jaw pain
- Problem with speech
- Sensitive teeth to extreme temperatures – often, a sudden gush of air can make you tremble with pain
- Trauma to teeth causing chipped off, or fractured teeth
- The onset of other dental problems such as dental decay (rotten teeth)
The only way to eliminate these symptoms and recreate a healthy, beautiful smile is to visit an orthodontist.
Treatment for Overbite in Teeth
Where there is a dental problem, there is an even better dental solution.
What is the worst thing that you can do to your health?
You already know the answer to that. If you know the results of overbite before and after the treatment – you will never say no to it. It is important to seek treatment for overbite teeth to live a healthy, pain-free life.
Dentistry has advanced so much since the Stone Age, with better treatment options. Dental personnel can recreate your smile as if there were no overbite ever.
To make a rational decision, discuss the treatment options with your Orthodontist. However, there is no harm in doing some research about your condition. So, when you go to the dental clinic, will be able to make an informed decision.
How overbites can be fixed?
Overbite in teeth often needs orthodontic treatment and sometimes even surgery. Treatment for overbite teeth in adults is different than in children and teenagers.
You may ask – why? In children and teenagers, the jawbone is still growing, and it is easy to modify it. However, overbite in adults needs a corrective approach, as the bone has fully grown.
Treatment for Overbite Teeth in Children and Teenagers
Removal of milk teeth:
Often, overbite in kids can occur due to milk teeth retention, small jaw or overcrowding. There is a lack of room for permanent teeth to come in.
As a result, the permanent teeth can supersede the milk teeth, causing excessive overlapping in the vertical plane. This occurs in the ugly duckling stage (mixed dentition). If diagnosed earlier, the dentist will remove baby teeth to make room for permanent teeth.
Growth modification devices:
The upper jaw bone grows till the age of 12-13 years. In comparison, the lower jaw bone grows till the age of 18 years. Therefore, an orthodontist can suggest growth modification devices if a skeletal overbite is diagnosed in kids and teenagers.
These devices are given during the growth spurt to navigate the jaw in a normal position. Some of the commonly used devices are:
- Palatal expanders
To know more about them, consult your Orthodontist. You may also read articles online.
Treatment for Overbite Teeth in Adults
Removal of Teeth:
To treat severe overbite in adults, dental personnel will recommend removing teeth to relieve the problem and make room for teeth to move.
Clear Path Aligners:
This can treat mild overbites in adults. Clear aligners are modifications of the conventional metal braces. They are custom-made for every patient and mostly recommended for adults.
If there is a skeletal overbite in adults, growth modification devices are of no use. Because the jaw bone is fully grown, the Orthodontist may suggest surgery to resolve the skeletal overbite.
Treatment with Dental braces – Overbite in Adults and Kids
Dental braces can resolve dental overbite teeth in adults and kids as well. Braces work to normally position the teeth, as desired.
An Orthodontist may recommend different kinds of braces for different patients:
- Traditional or metal braces: These are conventional and the most common type of braces. Metal braces are an effective treatment for overbite teeth. They are made of metal brackets and metal wires. It takes 1-2 years, even more, to perfectly align the teeth.
- Ceramic braces: They perform the same function as traditional braces but in a more aesthetic way. Instead of all the metal stuff, the Orthodontist uses ceramic brackets that match the tooth color.
- Overbite lingual braces: most of the time, patients are not comfortable with either metal or ceramic braces. Overbite lingual braces treat severe overbites and are placed on the inner surface of teeth. It usually takes longer but offers an aesthetically pleasing solution.
- Clear aligners or Invisalign: This can treat mild overbites in adults. Clear aligners are modifications of the conventional metal braces. They are custom-made for every patient and mostly recommended for adults.
To undergo an overbite straight teeth transition, retainers prevent the relapse of overbite. After braces treat the overbite teeth in adults or kids, they need to wear a retainer. The Orthodontist recommends wearing a retainer for a few years, often for a lifetime in severe cases.
How long does overbite take to fix?
The time it takes for an overbite to fix, varies from each patient and the treatment they undergo. However, the effects of overbite before and after the treatment can be mesmerizing.
While braces may take up to 2-3 years, clear aligners often take only one year. For the growth modification devices, the patient will have to wear them for several years. Or until the growth spurt stops.
Get the treatment and see the beautiful, flawless overbite-straight teeth transition. The overbite before and after results are worth the wait.
What happens if you do not treat overbite in teeth?
Dental treatments can make anyone anxious, and we understand. What is even worse is not getting the treatment. If you neglect your overbite, you may face:
- Severe toothaches
- Severe headaches
- Jaw pain
- Dental problems such as cavities, wear and tear of teeth, and gum disease
- Damage to palatal bone
- Difficulty, discomfort, and pain in eating
- Difficulty in speaking
- Sleep apnea
- Problem with opening or closing the mouth
- A severely compromised lifestyle
Prevent Overbite in Teeth
The only thing in the world better than treatment is prevention.
Once you know that your front teeth are easily a victim of overbite in teeth, you can take the following precautions:
- Wean off feeders and pacifiers at the age of 2 and before four years of babies
- Discourage habits like tongue thrusting or thumb sucking
- Regular dental visits to the pediatric dentist after the age of 1
- Encourage healthy eating habits
- Avoid biting on nails or pencils
- Seek help for jaw pain and disfunction
- Get a mouth guard if you have teeth clenching or grinding habit
- Regular visits to the dental clinic- twice every year
Smile; It Raises your Face Value
Overbite in adults and kids can lead to dire dental consequences and are rather common than you think. Most importantly, the best way to get a perfect smile and healthy life are to seek treatment for overbite in teeth at the right time.
At last, if it encourages you to know, even a famous actress with overbite teeth got treatment for it. We are talking about Cindy Crawford. An American model and actress who won the hearts of her audience with her heartthrob smile. And so can you!
Overbite in Teeth – FAQs:
To prevent or effectively treat overbite in straight teeth, it is essential to understand a few things.
Let us answer some questions for you. Therefore, you will know why you must witness the overbite before and after the results.
1. What overbite is normal?
1-3mm of overbite in straight teeth is normal. Anything above this range needs immediate dental attention.
2. Why does overbite happen?
An overbite in straight teeth can occur due to many reasons such as genetics, overcrowding, grinding teeth, thumb sucking, overuse of pacifiers and others.
3. How many teeth are on the upper jaw?
There are 16 teeth in an adult’s upper jaw. Out of which, the front six teeth are mostly involved in an overbite.
4. How many teeth are on the bottom jaw?
There are 16 teeth in an adult’s bottom jaw. Lower teeth are smaller than the upper teeth. Usually, 8-10 front teeth are involved in the overbite.
5. How does overbite affect the face?
If you do not treat overbite in teeth, it can affect the symmetry of your face. The over protruding upper teeth can make your lips disproportionate. It can also make the cheeks look sunken and your face grumpy. Making you look older than your age.