Overbite: everything you need to know about this dental condition
If you have ever felt that your upper teeth completely cover your lower teeth when you close your mouth, you may be experiencing what is known as an overbite, its potential consequences and the treatments available to correct it.
What is an overbite?
An overbite, also known as “vertical malocclusion”, is a dental condition in which the upper teeth significantly overlap the different lower teeth when the mouth is closed. This can occur for a variety of reasons, such as a more prominent upper jaw or a lower jaw that is positioned further back than normal.
Overbite not only affects the aesthetic appearance of the smile, but can also have implications for chewing functionality and overall oral health.
Consequences of overbite
An overbite can have several negative consequences for dental health and overall quality of life. Some of the main consequences include
Due to overlapping teeth, people with an overbite may have difficulty chewing food efficiently. This can lead to poor digestion and limit the variety of foods that can be consumed.
Irregular tooth wear
This dental condition can cause uneven tooth wear, as the upper and lower teeth may rub together incorrectly when biting or chewing. This can lead to tooth sensitivity, pain and long-term oral health problems.
Aesthetic and confidence problems
Visible overbite can affect the appearance of the smile and facial profile. This can have an impact on a person’s self-esteem and confidence in their appearance, leading to possible insecurities.
In some cases, a pronounced overbite can affect pronunciation and speech. People may have difficulty articulating certain sounds correctly due to the abnormal position of the teeth.
Treatments for overbite
Fortunately, there are several treatments available to correct this dental condition and restore proper dental function and aesthetics. Some common options are:
Orthodontic treatment, such as the use of braces, clear aligners or other appliances, can help to gradually move the teeth into their correct position. This can correct overbites and improve overall dental alignment.
In more severe cases, it may be necessary to extract one or more teeth to create space and allow the teeth to align properly. This is usually part of a comprehensive treatment plan.
In extreme situations, especially when the jaw has a significant imbalance, maxillofacial surgery may be considered. This option is reserved for severe cases and may involve surgical repositioning of the jaw.
In short, overbite is more than an aesthetic concern, as it can affect chewing function, oral health and self-confidence. Fortunately, with the right treatments, it is possible to correct this condition and achieve a healthy, balanced smile.