Hiding your smile because of an overbite? This common condition occurs when the upper teeth significantly protrudes over the lower teeth. Not only is it unsightly, but it can also lead to speech and dental issues if left untreated. The good news is that it’s relatively easy to correct overbites with the right orthodontic treatments under the care of an experienced dentist in Laguna Nigel.
What is an overbite?
Overbites, medically known as malocclusions, are defined by a 30-50% protrusion of the upper teeth over the lower teeth. Often, overbites can manifest as crooked teeth when the truth is that the jaws and teeth are not aligned properly.
Overbites can be hereditary, while some people are simply born with malformed jaws that don’t develop in an even way.
Types of Overbites
To determine the proper course of treatment, your orthodontist in Mission Viejo will diagnose what type of overbite you have. The two main ones are:
- Vertical overbite – the top teeth overlap significantly over the bottom teeth
- Horizontal overbite – the top teeth protrudes over the bottom ones
While your dentist may diagnose your overbite as horizontal or vertical, most patients exhibit a combination of the two. Your overbite may further be identified under two categories:
- Skeletal overbite – the overbite occurs due to the jaw
- Dental overbite – the overbite occurs due to the teeth
Once an overbite is diagnosed, it’s important to have it corrected as soon as possible. Leaving it untreated can cause serious issues in terms of appearance and overall dental health.
Consequences of an Untreated Overbite
Considerable health complications can result from an uncorrected overbite. These complications can include:
- Jaw pain
- Tooth decay
- Worn tooth enamel
- Gum disease
- Pain and discomfort while eating
- Sleep apnea
- Sleeping difficulties
- Problems with opening or closing the mouth
- Irreparable damage to the teeth due to the positioning
- Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ)
An overbite also dramatically alters the structure of the face, leading to self-esteem issues and other psychological and emotional problems. To prevent these, it’s best to see a dentist in Laguna Nigel ASAP once an overbite starts to manifest.
Orthodontic Treatments for Overbite
Generally, you will be referred to an orthodontist for overbite treatment. Your dentist will examine your overbite to create a treatment plan that can last up to a year or longer, depending on the severity of the overbite. Here are the top treatments recommended for this condition:
- Traditional Braces – metal brackets are used to move teeth in the right position
- Invisalign – uses clear plastic aligners instead of metal brackets to realign teeth
- Teeth removal – done in very severe overbite cases to ease crowding of teeth
- Surgery – recommended for those with jaw problems stemming from skeletal overbites
- Retainers – used post-braces treatment to maintain correct teeth position
Seek Overbite Treatment Today
If your overbite is causing issues, set an appointment with your dentist to discuss potential treatment options. Your custom treatment plan can also include cosmetic treatments such as dental implants in Mission Viejo to help you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile. Finally, don’t forget to have your teeth checked every six to twelve months to prevent more dental issues from occurring.