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Overbite: A Complete Guide By An Orthodontist

Evenly aligned healthy teeth always fascinate everyone when you smile. But when your upper and lower jaw does not interact appropriately with one another, this may leave a repulsive impression. If the lower jaw is smaller than the upper jaw, or if the poor alignment of your teeth pushes back your lower jaw that means you are having an overbite. 

There may be several reasons for an overbite including genetics, childhood habits and temporomandibular joint dysfunction. However, the important question here is how do you fix an overbite? Dentists believe that the correction of overbite depends upon the severity of jaw misalignment, and they have pigeon-holed the degree of overbite into various types. 

There are two main prospects due to which overbite may occur i.e. skeletal and dental overbite. Skeletal overbite occurs when the lower jaw is smaller than the upper jaw and it moves the upper teeth forward. While in dental overbite, overcrowding of teeth with poor alignment pushes lower jaw back. Besides these conditions, several other types of overbite have been described that need to be mentioned.

For overbite correction, labeling the degree of jaw misalignment is remarkably important, as this helps in choosing the correct overbite treatment option. Following are the most common types of an overbite:

Minor overbite:

When upper teeth slightly overlap the lower teeth However, if this overlap is less than 30% of its proportion, then don’t worry this is not a noticeable condition and usually considered a minor overbite that can be fixed without surgery.

Overbite:

if the overlap of upper and lower teeth is as much visible as 30-50% of its proportion, then it is a matter of concern and is considered as an overbite.

Severe overbite:

if the upper teeth are fully protruded over the lower teeth then this would be considered as severe overbite and it needs to be fixed.

Overjet:

sometimes overbite is muddled up with overjet. Although they are related, the two conditions are distinct in the orientation of teeth. An overbite is the overlapping of upper teeth over the bottom teeth fully or partially covering the lower jaw. Whereas, an overjet is the distance of the top teeth far from the bottom teeth. Overjet can be easily observed from the side facing as the upper teeth coming out from the normal position ahead of the bottom teeth.

Cross-bite:

it occurs when a group of teeth are misaligned from side to side and can be observed when the mouth is closed. It usually occurs in the front teeth when upper teeth fit behind the lower teeth.

Types of Overbite

Underbite:

it is an inverse condition of overbite, and occurs when the lower teeth vertically overlap the upper teeth.

Underjet:

similar to overjet, an underjet occurs when the bottom teeth bulge out of the mouth. In this jaw misalignment, lower teeth extend farther than the upper teeth.

The alignment of your teeth and position of your jaw may impact the quality of your life. It can disturb the way you talk, chew and even can spoil your looks. Here it is crucial to determine how you fix an overbite. The best possible approach to opt for a suitable correction method is to see the severity of an overbite either through x-rays or other dental exams. 

Your orthodontist will recommend one of the following treatment options to fix an overbite:

Braces

The ultimate correction method to improve the tooth alignment, comes into one’s mind is the use of braces. Metal brackets, wires and rubber bands seem the most effective way to recover the misalignment of teeth. Improvement in overbite before and after braces can be easily distinguished, but this treatment of overbite teeth takes time and also brings discomfort to endure.

Clear Aligners

This treatment option works on the same strategy as braces, but clear aligners are clear trays that are fitted over a patient’s teeth. The series of trays is changed by the time to move the jaw slowly. As braces come up with discomfort or pain and ruinous appearance, people search how to fix an overbite without braces. So to lessen your worries with braces, you can manage your overbite with clear aligners. 

Surgical Methods

In most severe cases especially with adults, orthodontists recommend surgeries. Sometimes the alignments of jaw bones are so out of order that they require surgery to improve the bone position.   

Tooth Removal

Sometimes teeth do not find enough space for growth and lead to overbite teeth. Therefore one or more teeth can be removed to allow other teeth normally move in and correct position.

Myofunctional Device

This treatment approach is based on the principle that the muscles supporting jaws, tongue and mouth are pushed towards the correct position by the application of appropriate pressure. For this purpose myofunctional devices are designed for the patients who want to fix their overbite without braces and clear aligners. This therapy is yet unquestionable but still needs further research.

Every patient is unique in its disorder of overbite teeth, so choose wisely your correct treatment option. Consult orthodontic experts for this purpose so that they can guide you well how to fix an overbite that suits you to bring healthy living.

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