The occurrence of an overbite is completely normal. You determine the overbite by the degree of overlapping of teeth or by the number of upper teeth covering the lower teeth.
If you want to get rid of your overbite or if it is becoming problematic for you, you might want to take a look at the following plan that we have devised for you!
Step 1: Measure the overbite
The size of an average overbite is between 2-4mm. Measure your overbite at home in Infront of a mirror. Smile and move your lips away from your teeth.
Now, notice if your upper teeth are lying over your lower teeth. If not, measure the distance between the upper and lower set of teeth with a scale.
If it is 3.5mm or more you might want to see an orthodontist i.e. the second step.
Step 2: Differentiate between an overbite and an overjet
An Overbite refers to the vertical overlap of the upper front teeth over the lower front teeth.
Whereas an Overjet refers to the horizontal distance between the upper front teeth and lower front teeth.
Step 3: Consultation with a Dentist/Orthodontist
He will become familiar with the anatomy of your teeth and will suggest x-rays for determining the nature of your overbite.
There can be two types of overbites i.e. vertical or horizontal of dental or skeletal type. Accordingly, he will carve out a treatment plan for you.
Step 4: Treatment Strategies
The issue of overbite is easier to settle in children rather than in adults, as their jaws and teeth are still in the developing stage.
Usually, for an adult, experts suggest the following overbite correction options:
- With the help of braces. Braces help in fixing an overbite by moving the teeth but take up to 18 months.
- With the help of Invisalign Clear Aligners. Just like braces, they fix an overbite by moving the teeth but are a lot less invasive compared to braces.
- You can also use Invisalign with elastics to treat some overbites.
- With the help of You may need surgery when your overbite is caused by skeletal or jaw problems and won’t resolve with braces or aligners.
- Retainers with some added mode of treatment can be of use.
- Teeth removal. In severe cases, the dentists and orthodontists suggest taking some of them out to allow teeth to move freely.
- Splint therapy. You should consider this treatment plan when you have a TMJ disorder developed secondarily to an overbite. A splint is an oral device that you wear at all times and it basically fits over your teeth to keep them from touching. It repositions the lower jaw into a more natural position.
- Some neuromuscular dentists drill into teeth to fix it with crowns, caps, and veneers etcetera.
Step 5: Alternative treatment methods:
With advancements in science and medicine, we introduce new types of treatment methodologies every day. They are a lot less invasive and do not require hardcore surgeries. They can settle many concerns with some pain medications and jaw exercises.
Facial massages are also an option for some. Some clinics offer custom treatment plans which take at least a period of a few months to years.
Now the million-dollar question arises. Should you get your overbite treated? Or should you get used to living with it?
Wanting to get your overbite fixed is a matter of choice. If it stays within a certain limit (less than 3.5mm) and does not bother you, you can choose not to do anything about it.
However, keep in mind that an overbite after a certain limit becomes a medical call for attention as it can lead to a number of secondary health and dental conditions. Some of these concerns include:
- Difficulty in speaking and chewing: overbites can cause complications in chewing and result in speech impediments.
- Tooth wear and tooth damage: due to the misaligned jaw, the teeth can hit each other in awkward places and cause damage to tooth enamel and result in tooth loss.
- Gum damage: lower teeth can contact the upper teeth gum line and result in gum recession. Damaged gums can cause gum disease and tooth loss.
- Sleep apnea. If your overbite causes a set back in your lower jaw, you can develop sleep apnea.
- Jaw pain and TMJ disorder: there is an increased likelihood of Jaw pain, temporomandibular joint disorder, and headaches.
So, you should get your overbite treated. Moreover, a perfectly aligned smile adds an advantage to the beautiful aesthetic and hurts no one!
To prevent the condition from aggravating and becoming worse, avoid doing the following:
- Regularly clenching of jaw and grinding of teeth will worsen it and will lead to painful trigger points in facial muscles.
- You should not suck your tongue as that might worsen the condition.