What is an Overbite, and how is it Corrected at Upper Eastside Orthodontics?

If you watch TV, go to movies, or check out magazines, you’ll notice everyone seems to have nice, white, perfectly aligned teeth. But not everyone is so lucky. Kids and adults alike can suffer from malocclusion. An overbite is just one type of malocclusion. Let’s take a look at what causes it and then how it can be corrected at Upper Eastside Orthodontics.

What is malocclusion?

When you hear Dr. Tanya Vaysman use the term, “malocclusion,” she’s referring to a misalignment of the teeth. There are several types of malocclusions including overbite, underbite, open bite, and crossbite. An overbite occurs when the top teeth stick out beyond the lower teeth. A common, class one malocclusion has a small overlap of the upper teeth. A class two malocclusion is more severe. Class three malocclusions are the most severe and the lower teeth overlap the top ones.

What is an overbite caused by?

In most cases, an overbite is caused by the shape or size of the jaw, or of the teeth. When there is too much room in the jaw or not enough room to accommodate the teeth an overbite can result. If an overbite isn’t treated, the teeth can become crooked and crowded. If the jaw area has too much room, there can be spaces between teeth. Thumbsucking, pacifier use, overuse of a bottle can cause an overbite in children or infants. For teens and adults, an overbite can be the result of chewing on objects and chronic nail-biting. About 70% of American children have an overbite according to the American Dental Association.

What happens when overbites go untreated?

Significant health problems can occur when overbites go untreated. Irreparable damage to the teeth can occur because of abnormal positioning. Sometimes it can cause jaw pain or a condition called TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder. Other complications that can occur as a result of an untreated overbite include:

  •  Tooth decay and cavities (due to crowded teeth)
  •  Jaw pain
  •  Severe headaches
  •  Trouble fully closing or opening the mouth
  •  Discomfort when eating
  •  Difficulty speaking
  •  Sleep apnea

If left untreated, an overbite can alter the facial structure and affect a person’s self-image.

How is an overbite treated at Upper Eastside Orthodontics?

A general dentist usually refers patients with overbites to an orthodontist for treatment. Children are more easily treated since their jaw is still in the developmental stage. Crowding of teeth is the most common problem for children and teens. But for adults, the failure to treat an overbite early can cause more severe symptoms. Dr. Tanya Vaysman will examine the patient and develop a treatment plan. It can take two years or longer to treat an overbite depending on its severity. Treatment options at Upper Eastside Orthodontics may include:

Treatment Options for Children and Teens

  •  Removing baby teeth to allow room for permanent teeth to grow in straight
  •  Dental devices designed to position the jaw during growth spurts
  •  Braces to help correct an overbite and the jaw’s position slowly
  •  Retainers after braces to help keep the teeth positioned properly

Treatment Options for Adults

  •  Braces to move the teeth into position
  •  Teeth removal to allow more space for teeth
  •  Surgery to correct jaw problems

Contact Upper Eastside Orthodontics

Overbites are very common occurrences. For most patients, it doesn’t create a health issue, but it is a cosmetic concern. If you want to correct your or your child’s overbite, contact us at Upper Eastside Orthodontics to schedule an exam. Dr. Tanya Vaysman can create a custom treatment plan for you. Call us today to discuss your concerns.

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