Posted on Mar 01, 2022, 3 p.m.
Overbite is a class II malocclusion where the lower jaw and teeth are much far back than the upper jaw and teeth. Your upper jaw overlaps the lower jaw due to this difference in jawbone alignment. As a result, in appearance, your top front teeth extend beyond your bottom teeth. Overbite teeth are also known as buck teeth and deep bite in layman’s terms.
This article will shed some light on the effects of overbite on the body, its types, and its cause.
Effects of Overbite on Your Body
An overbite may look like a minor facial flaw. But it can lead to serious health complications if left untreated. Some of the common problems people with overbite teeth face are as follows:-
- Speech impediments
- Teeth grinding
- Jaw pain
- Difficulty in chewing
- Alteration in facial features – in a case of a severe overbite
- Tooth decay due to worn out enamel
- Severe headaches
- Difficulty in breathing
- Temporomandibular disorders (TMD)
- Gum disease
Types of Overbite
Overbite is categorized into 2 types. They are as follows:-
1. Skeletal Overbite
In a skeletal overbite, the size and shape of the child’s jaw become abnormal. It either becomes too large or too small to fit all the teeth properly. Therefore skeletal overbite can lead to crooked, spaced, or crowded teeth. This type of overbite occurs due to genetic reasons and can be detected in childhood.
2. Dental Overbite
Dental overbite is caused by the genetic defect's worsening because of bad childhood habits like pushing the tongue against the teeth, sucking the thumb or pacifier, prolonged bottle use, etc. Besides all the health risks of a skeletal overbite, dental overbite comes with additional complications such as sleep apnea and breathing disorders.
Potential Causes of Overbite:
The leading cause of overbite is genetic abnormalities of the jaw shape. But some additional factors also weigh in when it comes to an overbite. 8 common potential causes of kids and adults getting overbite teeth are described here for your better understanding.
1. Teeth Grinding
Overbite is one of the problems that teeth grinding or bruxism can cause. If you tend to grind teeth at night, you can also have TMJ disorder, crooked teeth, etc. Dentists suggest wearing a nightguard until your teeth grinding is not cured.
2. Face Injuries
A severe injury to your face causes trauma to your teeth and break or alter the shape of your jawbone. You can repair the broken or displaced jaw with treatment. But in some cases, the upper and lower jaw doesn’t fit together correctly post-treatment. This condition leads to an overbite.
3. Excessive Nail Biting
Do you habitually chew your nails and other objects like pencils with your teeth? It’s not only harmful to your nails. But it’s also unhealthy for your teeth as it damages the enamel. Moreover, you can also chip or break your front teeth, causing teeth to protrude against each other.
4. Thumb Sucking
Thumb sucking is a common childhood habit, and it is one of the leading causes of an overbite as well. The pressure put by the thumb hampers the natural growth of kids’ teeth and jaw that are in the developing stage. It becomes worse if the habit of thumb sucking continues after the kids turn 3 or 4 years old.
5. Tongue Thrusting
One more common childhood habit is tongue thrusting. Kids push the back of their teeth with their tongue. This forward push of the tongue presses the upper jaw too far. Some kids take this habit to adulthood in the form of poor chewing and swallowing habit. Some people do tongue thrusting in sleep when they are stressed.
6. Prolonged Use of Pacifier
Pacifiers and thumb sucking affect your tooth in similar function. However, the pacifier increases the chances of the kids growing up with overbite teeth. This is because a pacifier puts more pressure on the teeth and jaws than a kid’s own thumb.
The uneven shape of the jaw comes in hereditary. If your parents or other blood relatives have overbite teeth, you or your kids are likely to have it too. Your upper or lower jaw can be smaller, creating an overbite. There’s not much you can do to prevent overbite if it comes in hereditary, but it’s perfectly treatable when diagnosed.
8. Missing or Crowded Teeth
Your teeth look like buck teeth if you have missing or crowded teeth. In fact, a single missing tooth is enough to disturb the entire alignment of your teeth. And crowded teeth force teeth to protrude against one another as there is not enough space for all of them. This also gives the appearance of overbite teeth.
You or your kids can have overbite teeth due to any possible reason. But you can prevent the related complications by undergoing proper treatment for overbite correction. Orthodontists can successfully cure overbite through various methods like braces, Invisalign, palate expansion, and oral surgery (if required). So don’t delay in contacting your trusted orthodontist to start your overbite treatment now!
Shen Chao is part of Dr. Joshua Hong’s Dental Clinic in Goodyear, AZ. While working for the dental clinic, he’s gained first-hand experience with the questions and concerns that dental patients have. He has been writing to inform people about various dental topics to help his readers improve their oral health. When he’s not working, you can find him on a hiking trail with his dog or having a Sunday cook-out with friends.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before making any changes to your wellness routine.
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