Does Everyone Have A Slight Overbite?
Yes, everyone has a slight overbite. All humans have the slightest overbite because it is necessary to chew correctly. However, the degree to your overbite can be minimal or severe. One can usually see the degree of an individual’s overbite by looking at them smile. If there is a greater than 50% vertical overlap of their top and bottom teeth, they have an excessive overbite.
What is an overbite?
An overbite is also called “bucked teeth.” Many people believe buck teeth are when an individual’s two front teeth are oversized, but this is not usually the case. Most buck teeth result from the misalignment of the teeth, which occurs when the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth. Its occurrence is dependent on how many of your upper teeth cover your lower teeth. Severe overbite or malocclusion occurs when there is a change to greater than 50% overlap.
What Causes an Overbite?
Genetics plays a significant factor if you have an overbite or not. Such genetic features that can cause an overbite include:
- Missing, extra, or impacted teeth
If you have extra or broken teeth, it can cause misalignment. Crowding or larges spaces between teeth can cause an overlap of the upper front teeth over the lower. Missing teeth cause your remaining teeth to shift, resulting in buck teeth.
Tongue-thrusting is when one presses their tongue up against their front teeth to the point where their teeth move. Such a habit can cause an open bite to develop. The condition occurs mainly in children and often results from swollen tonsils and poor swallowing habits. Sometimes tongue-thrusting happens during sleep, so an individual doesn’t even understand the problem exists before it’s too late.
- Tumor and cysts of the jaw or mouth
Tumors and cysts in the jaw cause pain. The bony tissue in the upper jaw causes your teeth to move forward. If this persistent swelling continues, it can cause the misalignment of your teeth and change the shape of your jaw and mouth.
- Overbite from thumb-sucking or pacifier use
Thumb sucking is often an issue among young children. The pressure caused by the sucking can cause a child’s permanent teeth to come in at abnormal angles.
Sucking a pacifier can also cause an open bite. Research shows that pacifier is associated with a higher risk of developing malocclusion than thumb-sucking.
What are the symptoms of an overbite?
Some patients may experience minor and severe signs such as:
- Difficulty chewing and eating properly
- Popping noises from the jaw when you close or open your mouth
- Jaw shiftiness making it hard to close and open your mouth
- Persistent earaches
Different types of overbites
You may wonder: “What kind of an overbite do I have?” Typically, an overbite falls into two categories: horizontal and vertical.
A vertical overbite occurs when the top teeth overlap the bottom teeth. A horizontal overbite occurs when the top teeth extend past the bottom teeth and this is formerly known as Overjet.
The types of overbites are:
Case 1 Bite
Class 1 malocclusion is the most common and occurs when the molar position is normal but the other teeth are not aligned properly. Such an overbite can result in:
- Gaps between the teeth
- Open bite
- Overcrowded teeth
- Rotated teeth
Case 2 Bite
A Class 2 overbite occurs when the upper molars are too far forward compared to the lower molars. Such an overbite is often a result of an underdeveloped lower jaw or an overly prominent upper jaw.
Class 2 malocclusion further falls into two categories;
- Division 1 means the molars are in class 2 position, and the anterior teeth are protruding. The lower lip rests behind the upper teeth, and often people with this overbite experience a slackening of the lips.
- Division 2 means the molars are also in the class 2 position, but the soft tissues in the mouth and face exert pressure that tilts the incisors towards the palate.
Case 3 Bite
Class 3 malocclusions occur when lower molars are positioned too far forward compared to the upper molars. Oral professionals sometimes refer to class 3 overbite as prognathism (protruding lower jaw), and people with this underbite usually have an extremely pronounced chin.
Class 3 overbite is further categorized into;
- Skeletal class 3 malocclusion occurs when the entire jaw is misaligned due to a growing problem.
- Dental class 3 overbite happens when the lower teeth are too far forward compared to the upper teeth.
What are treatment options for a Bite correction?
Braces and clear aligners are common treatments for an overbite. Traditional braces are made from ceramic and metal. The braces are attached to each tooth and connected with wire. The aligners also straighten crowded teeth and a misaligned jaw.
Invisalign is a series of clear plastic aligners custom-made for your teeth. Invisalign for overbite treatment is common among teenagers and adults.
- Palate expansion
Palatial expanders are special appliances attached to the upper molars used by children or adolescents whose upper jaws are too small to accommodate adult teeth.
- Jaw surgery
For severe Overbite or Overjet cases, an individual must undergo surgery to correct the upper and lower jaw alignment.
How much does overbite treatment cost?
On average, overbite treatment in Brooklyn, NY is $5000 to $10,000. Orthognathic surgery can cost up to $50,000, but patients with health insurance may be covered in some cases. If you have questions about treatment options for your overbite and live in Forest Hills, Cedarhurst, or Brooklyn, contact Amazing Smiles to review your options and create a customized treatment plan.