About 8% of Americans have overbites, an alignment issue that affects the way you bite and chew. At Schoolhouse Orthodontics, LTD, Tasha Bolden, DMD, MSD, uses her years of specialty training to diagnose and treat overbites safely and effectively. To make an appointment at the practice in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, call the office or click the online booking tool today.
What are overbites?
Overbites occur when your front upper teeth protrude over your front lower teeth. It’s a common type of malocclusion that varies in severity.
For some people, an overbite is a minor cosmetic concern. For others, it affects the way they bite and chew, increasing the risk of damage to their teeth, gums, and tongue.
What causes overbites?
Most overbites are hereditary, meaning they’re passed on genetically. If your parents or grandparents had an overbite, you’re more likely to as well. Other factors that contribute to overbites include childhood habits like pacifier use and thumb or finger sucking.
Do overbites increase the risk of more serious health problems?
It depends. Mild overbites typically aren’t something you need to worry about. If you have a severe overbite it may result in various issues, including:
Severe overbites can also affect your facial appearance.
How are overbites diagnosed?
To diagnose overbites, Dr. Bolden conducts an oral exam, reviews your dental health history, and asks about your symptoms. Often, visual observation is enough to make a diagnosis, but Dr. Bolden might order digital X-rays as well to assess the alignment and position of your jaw.
How are overbites treated?
Treatment of overbites depends on the severity of the alignment issue and its effect on your quality of life. If you have a mild overbite, treatment might not be necessary. If your overbite causes you pain or affects your ability to bite, chew, or speak, Dr. Bolden might recommend:
Braces are orthodontic appliances made of wire and metal brackets. They place mild pressure on your teeth and jaw, gradually moving them into the optimal position. Wearing braces for 12-18* months can significantly improve the appearance of an overbite.
If your child has a severe overbite, Dr. Bolden might recommend palate expansion. This type of treatment uses a special appliance called a palate expander to widen your child’s upper jaw.
Sometimes braces and palate expansion aren’t enough to correct an overbite. If your condition is severe, Dr. Bolden might recommend jaw surgery to improve the alignment between your upper and lower jaw.
To learn more about treatment for overbites, make an appointment at Schoolhouse Orthodontics, LTD, by calling the office or clicking the online booking tool today.