what-is-an-overbite

What is an Overbite?

When you come to Charleston Orthodontic Specialists for your free consultation, we can go over the issues with your teeth and jaw that need correcting. Using our advanced technology and experience with a wide variety of cases, we can find the best treatment plan for you to give you the smile you’ve always wanted. One of the most common types of fixes we offer our patients is correcting an overbite.

What Is an Overbite?

Technically speaking, almost everyone has a slight overbite. In a healthy jaw, the upper teeth should slightly overlap the bottom teeth. The upper jaw should also rest a little bit forward, where the upper teeth leave some of the bottom teeth still visible when you bite down.

Risks of an Excessive Overbite

However, an overbite becomes a problem when the upper jaw sticks out too far, either covering up the lower jaw entirely or not making contact at all during a bite. Beyond the negative effect this problem has on a patient’s appearance, it can also be a serious health concern.

Deep overbites are associated with chronic headaches, jaw pain, and teeth grinding. Trouble with speech and discomfort while eating can also be caused by an overbite. Having an extreme overbite negatively affects how your teeth bite down, creating an uneven distribution of pressure. When there is uneven pressure, a few teeth are put under more pressure than they were meant to take. Over time, this will lead to teeth wearing down and cracking. Not only are there obvious risks with teeth wearing down when it comes to long-term oral health, this can actually make an overbite appear more pronounced over time.

Overbites can also make it more difficult to thoroughly clean your teeth, which in turn will lead to plaque and tartar buildup and tooth decay.

How to Treat an Overbite

Overbites are significant issues for patients that can cause worse problems later in life if left untreated. Luckily, most overbites can be treated while you have braces. Bite issues are fixed by attaching interarch bands between certain brackets on the lower jaw and the upper jaw. In the case of an overbite, the bands will run from the back of the lower jaw to a spot near the front of the upper jaw, creating pressure that will correct the bite by bringing the lower jaw forward. This same method is also possible with the Invisalign Clear Aligner system by using subtle attachments that keep the aligners still looking clear and discreet.

In some cases, children may benefit from early intervention if they develop a severe overbite early on. This can help them avoid surgery or a longer duration with braces later in life.

Contact Charleston Orthodontics today to learn more about the issues we can fix through orthodontic treatment.

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