If you want to look your best and achieve robust oral health, there is no doubt that strong, straight teeth are what you’re after. Usually, this means your upper and lower jaws need to meet perfectly. Not only will this have a more aesthetically appealing look, but it will also help you eat and swallow more efficiently and avoid any potential health risks to your teeth and mouth.
When your upper and lower row of teeth don’t align as they should, you can either suffer from an overbite, underbite, or crossbite. The most common of these is an overbite. Sometimes, depending on the extent of your issue, you will need immediate or comprehensive orthodontic treatment. The best way to assess whether treatment is necessary is to schedule a visit with your orthodontist. They will then be able to develop a unique treatment plan for your specific bite and dental needs.
This article goes into more detail on overbites and answers the question: does everyone have an overbite? We also take a look at what causes overbites and the treatment options available.
Is It Normal to Have a Slight Overbite?
The truth is everyone has a slight overbite, which brings us to the question: are you supposed to have an overbite? We must have a tiny overbite for us to chew accurately. What can be problematic is the degree of your overbite. The easiest way to see whether you have an overbite is to look at your smile. Do your top teeth have a vertical overlap over your bottom teeth of more than 50%? If so, you’re looking at an extreme overbite.
Although it’s pretty normal to have a slight overbite, it’s only when your overbite becomes extreme that it poses a problem. You can determine the severity of your overbite by how much of your lower teeth you can see. If you can’t see them, it’s time to visit your orthodontist. The ideal overbite is when the overlap is only about 10-20%. Your orthodontist can easily fix your misalignment with a specialized treatment plan.
What Is The Difference Between an Overbite and Bucked Teeth?
The truth is, these are the same thing. Most people think buck teeth are when your front two teeth are very big, but this isn’t the case. Instead, bucked teeth are when the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth, which is precisely what an overbite is.
What Is an Underbite?
The opposite is true of an underbite. An underbite is when your lower front teeth are so far forward they are in front of your upper row of teeth when your jaw is closed.
What Causes an Overbite?
Often people ask, are overbites hereditary? According to WebMD Connect to Care, it is often the abnormality in the jaw shape and size that can cause space issues in your mouth, resulting in an over or underbite. This can be genetic, but only in some cases.
Let’s look at a couple of reasons you may be suffering from an overbite:
- Missing, Extra, or Impacted Teeth
Teeth shift very easily, so if you suffer from overcrowding or even large spaces between your teeth, you can expect movement and misalignment of your teeth. In this case, you may experience an overlap of the upper front teeth or with your lower teeth. Sometimes these shifts and movements can cause an overbite.
If young children develop poor swallowing habits or perhaps have swollen tonsils, you’ll find their tongue presses up against their front teeth, which can cause the teeth to move. Eventually, if not stopped, this will cause an overbite or open bite to form. Tongue thrusting also happens during sleep without you even knowing about it.
- Tumors and cysts of the jaw or mouth
If there is any swelling in your jaw, sometimes caused by tumors or cysts, you may see problems with the alignment of your teeth. This is because the bony tissue in your upper jaw causes your teeth to move forward, causing an overbite.
- Thumb-sucking or pacifier use
If you have a child who sucks their thumb well into the time when their permanent teeth are developing, you may find them suffering from an overbite. This is because the pressure caused by the sucking can force their big teeth to form at strange angles. When it comes to sucking a pacifier, a similar thing happens, and you may find an open bite forming.
What Are the Treatment Options For an Overbite?
It all comes down to the severity of your case and what is causing your jaw misalignment. Treatment options often include invisible aligners, braces, teeth straightening surgery, and orthodontic appliances.
- Braces and clear aligners are the most common way to treat an overbite.
- Invisalign will also help correct your overbite, and these clear plastic aligners are more popular with teenagers and adults.
- Palate expanders work best for children whose upper jaws are too small to accommodate adult teeth.
- Jaw surgery is an option for those adults with severe overbite issues where correction of the upper and lower jaw is needed.
Other Common Bite Problems
- Deep bite: This is an extreme overbite when the bottom teeth are covered more than 50% by the top teeth.
- Underbite: This is when the lower teeth naturally sit just ahead of the upper teeth.
- Crossbite: If the upper teeth fit inside of the lower teeth.
- Open bite: This is when the back teeth are touching, and the upper and lower front teeth do not overlap. The other instance of an open bite is when the front teeth touch, but the back teeth don’t.
How Can We Help?
Reach out to our Orthodontists to help correct bites, eliminate crowding and spacing, correct impacted teeth and correct any potential growth complications.
Our Orthodontists are known for creating beautiful, healthy smiles. We use the best orthodontic technology to treat patients of all ages!
Contact our Orthodontists for a professional answer to any of your braces or oral health questions.