Overbite teeth are commonly known as malocclusion or buck teeth. It is a commonly occurring condition when your upper and lower sets of teeth do not fit perfectly together.

Malocclusion often causes physical discomfort as a person is not able to eat properly. It might also be related to appearance which could be significant in a few. 

These are also known as protruding front teeth, can be naturally occurring in many or may arise due to certain habits such as  finger or thumb sucking, tongue thrusting etc. 

Many people are not very curious and do not want to treat this dental condition. However, your dentist might state reasons why protruding teeth or buck teeth should not be ignored.

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Remember, misaligned teeth are more than a dental problem. In the long run, such misaligned teeth can lead to several health complications if left untreated.

Your orthodontist can provide treatments to correct such malocclusion disorder. Besides, there are also steps you can take to make protruding teeth easier to deal with.

Overbite Teeth Definition

Overbite teeth are otherwise known as buck teeth or malocclusion. When some people the upper front teeth horizontally overlap the lower front teeth. This resulting condition is also known as overjet. It is a kind of  misalignment of your teeth that can range in severity. Such teeth could lead to functional issues in your mouth.

You might notice people often use the terms ‘overbite’ and ‘overjet’ interchangeably. However, in case of an overbite your front teeth vertically overlap the lower teeth.

However, many choose to live with protruding teeth and do not treat them. But there are many who prefer to treat their overbite misalignment for cosmetic reasons.

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But a majority of the people prefer this treatment in order to avoid long term complications. It can damage your teeth, gums, or even your tongue from accidental biting. However, your symptoms and severity play a role in how your dentist should treat your protruding teeth.

In cases, the condition of protruding teeth could be a minor issue when your two front teeth slightly overlap the adjacent lateral incisors. Whereas in some scenarios, it might be so severe that it becomes impossible for you to close both the lips over the protruding teeth.

Causes of Overbite Teeth

Overbite teeth is generally a hereditary disorder. Your jaw shape, like other physical oral features, might be passed down through generations. 

Apart from these your childhood habits, such as thumb-sucking and pacifier use are some other possible causes of protruding teeth.

1 Overbite teeth from thumb-sucking

During childhood days, your parents might warn you against the habit of thumb sucking. Such habits could lead to protruding teeth.

Thumb-sucking as you might know is a non-nutritive sucking behaviour or NNSB. Meaning the sucking motion does not provide you with any nutrition. So you might conclude that there are no benefits of thumb-sucking.

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The permanent teeth start to appear when you are a child at the age of 3 to 4. If the thumb-sucking habit continues after this age, then the pressure will start to create on the new teeth. Meaning the finger-sucking might cause the new permanent teeth to come in at an abnormal angle.

2 Overbite teeth from use of a pacifier

Do you know that sucking on a pacifier is another form of non-nutritive sucking behaviour? It might cause an overbite in your child the same way that thumb sucking can.

According to a research published in 2016, the use of pacifier use was closely associated with a higher risk of developing malocclusions compared to thumb-sucking.

3 Tongue-thrusting

Tongue-thrust is a disorder that occurs when your tongue presses too far forward in your mouth. This usually results in  “open bite” also called malocclusion. This condition might also sometimes cause an overbite.

The condition is mostly noticeable in children, but it can also be carried on into adulthood. There could be a number of reasons resulting in protruding teeth. 

4 Genetics

Many people are born with a misaligned jaw or a small upper or lower jaw. As you might have read, an overbite or prominent front teeth are generally hereditary in nature. If you notice, your parents, siblings, or other close relatives may also have a similar appearance.

5 Missing teeth, impacted teeth and extra teeth

Crowding and spacing could affect the alignment of your front teeth. Resulting in the appearance of protruding teeth. In contrast, if you have a missing tooth, your remaining teeth will shift after a certain period. In the long run, it will affect the position of your front teeth.

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On the other hand, if your mouth does not have enough space to accommodate all your teeth; it can give rise to alignment issues. Crowding can also occur when you have extra or impacted teeth.

6 Tumors and cysts of the jaw or mouth

Any kind of cysts or tumors in the mouth or jaw can affect the alignment of your teeth. It could also change the shape of your mouth and jaw.

This can happen when persistent swelling or growth is seen. Bony growth or soft tissues might appear in the upper part of your mouth or jaw, which causes your teeth to shift forward. Tumors and cysts in the oral space or jaw can also cause lumps, pain, and sores.

Problems Related to Overbite Teeth

Overbite teeth correction is highly important as they are more than just a cosmetic problem. If you leave them  untreated, you might have health-related implications.

Chewing issues – With improper alignment of your teeth in any of your jaws you could have chewing issues. Chewing is the first step in the digestive process and could have a direct effect on your overall health. Improper chewing could also lead to poor digestion. 

Hence, it is all the more important to have a good bite, as your teeth help to break down your food effectively. If you have protruding teeth it might also cause pain during biting and chewing. 

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Other potential problems might include damage to your surrounding teeth and gums and alteration in facial appearance. Protruding teeth treatment is essential to overcome these issues.

Speech Impediment – Since the misalignment affects your lips and upper front teeth, it can lead to speech difficulties. If you have an open bite disorder or a large overbite, you may have trouble pronouncing words with letters such as M, F, B, V, P, and S.

Airway Problems – Your protruding teeth might not cause any problems in the airway.  In fact, if you have a small jaw size, it means overcrowded teeth and also a small air passage. Similarly, a lower jaw that is small and retruded may also give rise to an abnormal airway. 

Remember that a poorly-developed airway might lead to snoring, sleep-disordered breathing, and sleep apnoea which will affect your overall quality of life.

Ovebite Teeth Treatment

Remember that unless your overbite is severe and is causing some discomfort,  treatment is not medically necessary. Moreover, if you are unhappy with your appearance, you might visit your dentist or orthodontist for treatment.

You must also understand that there is no one standard way to treat protruding teeth. The conditions might vary from person to person because your teeth come in different sizes, and bite types. The jaw relationships vary from one person to person. Your orthodontist or dentist will determine the best treatment plan based on your requirement.

1 Braces

Traditional retainers and wire braces are the commonly used type of treatment for protruding teeth. Many children get braces in childhood or during their teenage years. But even adults can benefit from them. 

Metal braces which have wires attached to the teeth are designed to move your teeth gradually for a straighter smile. Your dentist might also suggest tooth extraction if more room is required to straighten your teeth.

2 Palate expansion

Your dentist might use a palate expansion option to treat children or adolescents. Those who have an upper jaw are too small to accommodate all the adult teeth.

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A palatal expander is a special appliance consisting of two pieces that are generally attached to the upper molars. An expansion screw can move the two pieces apart to widen the palate.

3 Invisalign

Your dentist or orthodontist might use an Invisalign to treat minor overbite or malocclusions, specially in teenagers and adults. The mould of your teeth is used to make clear plastic aligners and are worn over your teeth to gradually change their position. Invisalign might be an expensive option than traditional braces but would require fewer trips to the clinic.

4 Jaw surgery

This is the last option your dentist might recommend for overbite teeth. Orthognathic surgery is often used to treat very severe issues. The procedure is used for people who are adults and have stopped growing. Once people stop growing, the relationship between the upper and lower teeth and jaws can be easily corrected using surgery. Orthodontic treatment often helps to overcome the problem.

Living with Overbite Teeth

Many choose to live with their overbite teeth. These tips that would help you keep your teeth healthy and avoid issues that cause misalignment. 

  • Make it a habit to practice good oral health.
  • Go for dental exams once every six months.
  • Try using a mouth guard during sleep. Also during times of stress, if you have the habit of tongue-thrust.
  • While playing high-impact sports, try protecting your teeth with a mouth guard.

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Human teeth come in all shapes and sizes. If you have teeth protruding, it only requires treatment if they are severe and cause discomfort. Moreover, if you are not happy with your looks, you may prefer to have them corrected. Your dentist or orthodontist can help determine the best option based on your requirements.

Hence it becomes important to fix overbite teeth at the earliest. As they can not only give rise to oral issues but also lead to overall health problems. If you are interested in knowing about overbite teeth, visit your dental clinic today.