What can be done about your overbite?

Dentist Blog

Overbites are very common, in fact approximately 70% of children develop some form of overbite. But they can cause problems, from giving you a wonky smile to affecting your speech. Let's look at what that overbite is and what you can do about it.

What is an overbite?

An overbite is defined as a 'bad bite' and is basically when your upper front teeth are in front of your bottom teeth more than normal. Your gum line may be a strange shape and your teeth may stick out, causing gaps.

Technically everyone has an overbite, but a normal overbite is barely noticeable, only your dentist will be able to see it because they know what to look for. Evidence suggests that over 250 years ago humans' front teeth met similar to an apes. This was to allow for biting and ripping at food. The beginning of the overbite in archaeological records begins with the widespread use of the fork. As humans eating habits changed, so did their teeth and now the slight overbite that stops your front teeth meeting is hereditary.

Causes of overbites

While your overbite may be hereditary, you may also develop one if you:

  • Sucked your thumb, dummy or bottle often as a child.
  • Regularly chew on a pen or pencil.
  • Regularly bite your nails.
  • Your jaw grows incorrectly, thrusting your teeth out.

Complications caused by an overbite

Overbites can cause all types of complications depending on their severity, including:

  • Sticking out teeth which causes the person to be self-conscious, especially when smiling. 
  • Strained jaw muscles, particularly while eating and talking, which can cause pain.
  • Depending on where your teeth lay as they stick out, the friction caused by them rubbing against the soft tissue of your mouth while eating and talking can cause damage.
  • An overbite at a young age can cause speech impediments such as a lisp.

Do you need treatment for your overbite?

Whether you require treatment to fix your overbite depends on you. If you're in pain or you hate smiling because of your overbite, then treatment is highly recommended.

The only way to fix an overbite is through orthodontic treatment, so your dentist will refer you to an orthodontist. Once they have established how bad your overbite is, your orthodontist will set out a plan of treatment for you. This could simply be wearing a retainer for a certain period of time to nudge the teeth back into place, or it could involve a more extensive treatment of braces.

An overbite is nothing to be ashamed of and can be easily fixed, so if yours is causing you problems speak to your dentist such as Michael Urwand about treatment.


19 March 2015

Dental Checkups: Preparing for Your Checkup

Hi! My name is Sarah, and as a busy professional, I understand the importance of making the most of my time. That includes everything from having productive working lunches to making the most of my dental checkups. I have created this blog to help you maximise your dental checkups. In these posts, you can learn how to prepare for your checkup, which questions to ask during your checkup and more. I am also going to have posts explaining why checkups are critical to your dental health as well as the health of your entire body. Happy reading, and thanks for visiting my blog!