What Is An Overbite?

Most of us have seen people with protruding upper jaw. Such jaw issues mostly come from your genes, but things like using pacifiers for too long, sucking fingers or thumbs, and biting nails can also cause them.

Many people know what it looks like but are not familiar with “What is an overbite?” An overbite is when your top teeth cover more of your bottom teeth than they’re supposed to.

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    Overbite Vs. Normal

    When your top teeth cover about 30% of your bottom teeth or if there’s a gap of 2-4mm between them, it’s generally normal. But if it’s 4-6mm or more, it’s called a deep overbite. When your bottom teeth are fully covered by your top teeth and even reach into your lower gums, it’s called a severe overbite.

    Types of an Overbite

    • Vertical – This occurs when the top teeth overlap the bottom teeth a lot.
    • Horizontal – This happens when the top teeth stick out over the bottom teeth.

    Sometimes, people might have both types of overbite. It can also be sorted as dental or skeletal. Dental means the teeth are the issue, while skeletal means the problem is with the jaw.

    Questions About What Is An Overbite? ?

    What Causes an Overbite?

    Outside factors can make teeth move, but usually, the reason for this is something you’re born with and can be passed down in families. Some other causes include:

    • Thumb Sucking
      It’s normal for kids to suck their thumb, but if they keep doing it until they’re three or four, it can mess up how their permanent teeth grow.
    • Pacifier Use
      Using a pacifier in the same way as thumb sucking can also cause teeth problems. A study found that using a pacifier can make it more likely for kids to have teeth that don’t line up right.
    • Tongue-Thrusting
      When your tongue pushes too far forward in your mouth, it can push your teeth out of place. This can make your front teeth not touch when you bite down or make them stick out.
    • Teeth Grinding
      Lots of people grind their teeth without knowing it, especially when they sleep. This can mess up how your teeth fit together and make your jaw and head hurt.
    • Missing or Impacted Teeth
      If you’re missing teeth or if some teeth erupt improperly, it can change how your other teeth line up.
    • Genetics
      Sometimes, people inherit an overbite from their family. So if your parents or siblings have one, you might too.
    • Tumors and Cysts
      Growths in your mouth or jaw can change how your mouth and teeth look. If these grow too much, they can even push your jaw forward.

    How to Fix Overbite?

    Orthodontists can fix an overbite depending on its severity and whether it’s because your jaw didn’t grow right. Following are some effective treatment approaches:

    • Braces
      Braces are a good choice for fixing an overbite. Some people might only need braces, while others might need them along with rubber bands to get the best results. Braces move your teeth, and the rubber bands help fix the way your jaw sits.
    • Invisalign
      Invisalign is another option for fixing an overbite. It uses clear aligners that fit over your teeth to move them into place. Sometimes, attachments and rubber bands are used with Invisalign to help with the overbite. Newer types of Invisalign, like the one with Mandibular Advancement, are even better at fixing overbites.
    • Orthognathic Surgery
      In some cases, surgery might be needed to fix an overbite. This involves a few steps: first, you might have braces or Invisalign to prepare your teeth, then a surgeon will do corrective jaw surgery to fix the overbite.
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    All of the staff at Leander Orthodontics is wonderful! Dr. Ash goes above and beyond for her patients and has even called us at home herself to answer questions about my son's care.

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    Dr. Ash is an awesome person and orthodontist! Her staff and her are ALWAYS so helpful! We've been nothing but enamored with their service from start to finish!

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    Concluding Thoughts

    Understanding “what is an overbite?” helps you seek the treatment at the right time. Sometimes, you might not know you have it until it troubles you.

    Visit Dr. Ash at Leander Orthodontics. Our orthodontist has teamed up with other dental experts to handle multidisciplinary and complex surgical cases. Dial (512) 260-5300 to book an appointment.

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