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General Life

What Is an Overbite and the Treatment Methods?

Overbite can be a problem to many in terms of appearance and dental well-being. An overbite is described as protrusion of the upper teeth cover the lower teeth by a percentage of 30 -50 per cent. In medical terms, this situation is called malocclusion and there can be many causes of malocclusion, genetics, and non-proper alignment of the jaw or crooked teeth.

Types of Overbite

There are mainly two types of an overbite, vertical, horizontal or both. In vertical overbite it is when the upper set of the teeth overlap over the lower set and horizontal is when the upper set of the teeth protrude over the lower and both are when they have horizontal and vertical overbite together.

It can also be classified as dental or skeletal, dental being when the teeth are the cause for the overbite and skeletal being when the jaw is the cause for the overbite.

1.    Cause of the Overbite

The main cause of the overbite is the size and shape of the jaw, there can be either too much space in the jaw or too little space where the teeth can’t properly fit in. Although it is not an emergency situation treating an overbite on time is necessary because if they are not treated the teeth can start crowding and protrude outwards.

Habits that lead to an overbite in children are thumb sucking, keeping the child on a pacifier, using milk bottles that leads to children pushing their teeth with the tongue. And in adults biting the nails and chewing pencils can lead to an overbite. Other causes are genetics, temporomandibular dysfunction and grinding of the teeth.

2.    Risks of Overbite

This depends on the severity and underlying cause. If an overbite is due to temporomandibular dysfunction this can lead to damage to the teeth and pain and other problems are tooth decay, wearing out of enamel, sleep apnoea, speech difficulty, psychological problems due to bullying and low self-esteem.

3.    Treating an Overbite

This is not something that can be treated at home therefore there is no home remedy, you would need to visit a dentist or orthodontist who will examine your teeth and the structure and would also require an X-ray to examine your teeth properly so that they can plan a treatment for you.

Depending on the severity the treatment can last anywhere from two years or longer. The main treatment options available are braces, palate expansion. If you don’t like the appearance of your teeth, you can contact cosmetic dentistry to help you fix it.

4.    Braces

These are the common method of treatment of an overbite. A wire and brackets are inserted in the teeth to bring about movement in the teeth so they can be brought to a straighter position. In certain cases, teeth have to be removed to make some space.

5.    Palate Expansion

This is done in children especially for those who have the small jaw to accommodate adult teeth. On the upper molar, a palate expander is places and screws are moved to bring about the expansion.

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