Overbites affect more people than you think, and the sooner you can address it, the less orthodontic treatment you’ll need in your adult life. At San Ramon Orthodontics in San Ramon, California, Dr. Hannah Karkhanechi works with both children and teenagers to make sure their overbites are resolved before the end of puberty. She also works with adults to resolve the issue once and for all. Get in touch with the office today by phone or online to learn more about how you can get rid of your overbite.
An overbite refers to a type of malocclusion (improper bite) that forms as a result of misalignments of the upper and lower jaws. In this case, the upper front teeth cover the lower front teeth.
There are many possible causes of an overbite, though in most cases, overbites are hereditary.
Another common cause of overbites is when there is either too much or too little room in your mouth to accommodate all your teeth. This, in turn, changes the shape of your tooth structure and causes either crowding or excessive gaps.
In children, overbites are most often caused by unhealthy habits like thumb-sucking. In teenagers and adults, overbites typically come about as a result of tooth-grinding, nail-biting, or other stress-related tics.
While overbites might appear to be an exclusively aesthetic problem, they come with a set of functional issues that can cause significant damage down the line.
The risks of an overbite include:
If you’re suffering from an extreme overbite, your lower front teeth systematically collide with the upper gum line. This can lead to gum recession, and, in turn, to gum disease and tooth loss.
If your upper and lower teeth aren’t correctly aligned, it’s clear that you might have some difficulty speaking. This can lead to speech impediments and make it difficult to chew properly.
Improper alignment not only causes the teeth to hit the gumline, but it also causes the teeth to hit neighboring teeth, causing the enamel to wear down, teeth to fracture, and — in more extreme cases — deteriorate.
Overbites can lead to significant jaw pain, as your upper and lower teeth naturally want to fit perfectly. As a result, you might have headaches or chronic jaw pain, but more importantly, you might develop temporomandibular joint disorder, which makes opening and closing your mouth extremely difficult.
Overbites can lead to breathing issues and consequently cause the development of obstructive sleep apnea.
Treating overbites varies according to your age.
Since children and teenagers’ jaws are still developing, correcting an overbite is often easy and straightforward. Dr. Karkhanechi might recommend palatal expanders, braces, or retainers to correct an overbite.
In adults, overbites typically mean that they didn’t receive early orthodontic treatment and the overbite has developed into something more severe. Dr. Karkhanechi can recommend traditional braces, teeth extractions, or surgery if the overbite is related to skeletal issues. If you think you suffer from an overbite, get in touch with Dr. Karkhanechi today by phone or online to schedule an appointment.