What is an Overbite and How is it Treated?

Many people go to the dentist and hear, “You have an overbite.” Typically, this statement determines whether or not you will need braces, but there’s a little more to it than that. Here’s what this means for your teeth and your overall dental health.

What is an Overbite?

An overbite is a condition where the front teeth overlap the lower teeth excessively. It is a common orthodontic condition. Fortunately, it is relatively easy to correct. The problem often has its roots in the size of the jaws and poor care of children’s teeth. Extended use of  bottles or pacifiers may also result in the upper teeth being pushed out. 

 

How Can it Effect your Teeth?

Overbites typically result in improper functioning, and an unnatural appearance of the front teeth. They may also result in excessive wearing of the lower front teeth. Since the lower teeth “undercut” the upper ones, it may also cause damage to the upper gums and palate. This may lead to periodontal problems, i.e. problems with the gumline and structure of the teeth.

Overbite Correction

Correction for an overbite can be treated at any age, though treatment is usually done for children between the ages of 10 and 14. Children are easier to treat for overbites because their jaw is easier to manipulate than adults. To evaluate a patient for an overbite, we will take X-rays of your mouth, examining the wear and alignment of teeth and determine if any speech impediment is present. If the condition appears severe, we can recommend an orthodontist who can determine if you need braces or surgery.

The team at Healthy Smiles of Georgia is dedicated to exceeding your expectations when it comes to dental care. Give us a call today to schedule your appointment for an overbite evaluation or any of your other dental-related needs.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

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