An overbite is an issue with bite alignment where the upper jaw sticks out further than the lower jaw. The majority of people in the US who have bite problems have an overbite. While having an overbite is a common problem in North America, the majority of the world has the opposite problem of underbites, where the lower jaws stick out further than their upper jaws. Here’s a deeper look at what causes overbites and treatments and procedures available to correct them.
The two main reasons why people develop an overbite are genetics and early habits. When you inherit the condition from parents, you usually have an underdeveloped lower jaw. It’s possible that your upper jaw is overdeveloped, but that is far less common. An overbite can also result from thumbsucking or using a pacifier as a child. In this case, dentists have a much easier time treating the overbite because it’s only the teeth, not the entire jaws that are out of alignment.
Elastic Bands. This is more common in less severe cases. By fitting the patient with braces, dentists can attach elastic bands that guide the jaws back in proper alignment.
Appliances. In the case of a large overbite, the dentist uses a spring that sits inside the mouth and cheeks. This allows the wearer to chew and speak normally. The spring places a constant amount of force, guiding the lower jaw into better position. This is used in more severe cases, where the patient can fit a thumb between the teeth when the mouth is closed, and results are seen much faster with the use of springs.
If you have an overbite and you’re interested in procedures designed to give you a healthier and more attractive smile, make an appointment today to talk to your dentist.