Overbite: What it is, Causes and Treatment

 In Dental Care

The TV, magazines, and movies often inundate us with images of people with clean, white and perfectly aligned teeth. But not everyone is fortunate enough to flash a perfect smile: many adults and children suffer an overbite, which is part of malocclusion.

What is an overbite?

An overbite – also known as buck teeth – is a malocclusion or misalignment of the teeth. You have an overbite if your upper front teeth stick out, or protrude beyond your lower front teeth. It’s a type of malocclusion, a term describing crooked or misaligned teeth.

Causes of overbite

The major cause of an overbite is genetic traits, such as jaw shape and may run in the family. If you have this condition, it may manifest in your children.

Other causes of this malocclusion include:

  • Using a pacifier past the age of three for children.
  • Thumb-sucking, or NNSB (NonNutritive Sucking Behavior) occurring past the age of three
  • Excessive nail biting
  • Bruxism or teeth grinding
  • The tendency to press the tongue too far forward into the mouth, also known as tongue-thrusting.

Treatments for overbite correction

Children and adults have different overbite corrections. But it’s always easier to treat the condition if caught during childhood than in the adult stage.

For children:

  • Braces can also be used to gradually move the teeth into the correct alignment.
  • It may also be necessary to remove baby teeth, or even permanent teeth, to make way for adult teeth.
  • You can also use retainers to keep the teeth in place after application of braces.
  • Doctors can use palate expanders or growth modification devices during growth spurts to try to reposition the jaw.

For adults:

  • Surgery can correct the misalignment
  • Removal of some teeth to create room for the remaining teeth
  • Use of braces to realign the teeth affected by overbite.

Talk to us

If you, or a member of your family, has an overbite, we can help. We are prosthodontic and general dentistry practitioners, and we make your goals our goals. With the help of modern technology, we treat all our dentistry patients as part of our family. Contact us today for more information.