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06 May 2013

An overbite refers to the overlapping of the upper teeth over the lower teeth in a way that is not functionally normal. Severe overbites are a leading cause of dental problems in children, while also causing aesthetic concerns and abnormal wear in patients of all ages.

Why Are Overbites a Concern?

Protruding teeth can affect your facial structure, predispose you to dental injuries, and cause you to become more self-conscious. At Cosmic Smile Dental, we have effectively treated many patients with overbites. In many cases low self-esteem was a major concern. Once teeth were corrected, our patients saw their self-confidence return. While most people seek treatment for overbites due to cosmetic issues, the abnormal biting pattern can also lead to:

  • Difficulties with eating, biting and chewing
  • Speech impediments
  • Strained jaw muscles and pain
  • Increased likelihood of dental trauma during everyday activities
  • Abnormal tooth wear
  • Increased risk of gum disease and tooth decay
  • Tissue trauma

Horizontal & Vertical Overbites

A horizontal overbite is also known as an ‘overjet’ and involves the top teeth protruding outward beyond the bottom teeth. A vertical overbite is when the top teeth are seen to significantly overlap the bottom teeth. If the teeth are the problem, it is known as a dental overbite whereas an issue with the jaw means it is a skeletal overbite. In some cases, it is possible for an individual to have vertical and horizontal overbites simultaneously. Treatments will vary based on the anatomy of the patient’s teeth and jaw.

Overbite Causes

Improper jaw development is often the culprit of overbites. As a child grows, his jaws may develop unevenly due to genetic reasons, causing a jaw that is too short or small and an upper jaw that is too large so that they do not fit together properly.

Oral habits though childhood also play a large role. Extended thumb sucking, pacifier, bottle, or infant cup use past what is appropriate will cause abnormal tooth and jaw modification.

Treating an Overbite

Depending on the severity of the overbite, orthodontics, growth modification, tooth extraction or even surgery to reposition the teeth and jaw may be necessary. While it is possible to successfully treat an overbite at any age, it is easier to treat children since their jaws are still developing.

Dr. Pang provides an individual treatment plan for each patient’s specific orthodontic needs. Typical treatment involves:

  • X-rays and impressions to assess the relationship between teeth and jaws
  • Orthodontic appliances to provide growth modification if necessary
  • Braces (traditional or invisible) to correct the positioning of the teeth

Book a consultation with Dr. Pang Today

If you or your child’s overbite is a concern, feel free to see Dr. Pang for a consultation at Cosmic Smile Dental in Sydney. We offer Invisalign and orthodontic services to patients of all ages.