Having an overbite can be very difficult to deal with, often leading to embarrassment and frustration.
Overbite is a malocclusion of the teeth that happens when the upper incisors cover too much of the lower ones, making it difficult for someone to properly bite and chew food as well as impacting their speech.
There are several potential triggers, including genetics, and the discomfort associated with it is common among those affected by this condition. To help alleviate these symptoms, it’s important to understand how an overbite may affect your daily life and how you can go about fixing it.
This article will guide those looking for more information on overbite, from identifying its symptoms and learning about potential treatments.
What Does the Face With Overbite Look Like?
A face with an overbite is recognizable by the protrusion of the upper jaw, which causes the upper teeth to excessively push outward and overlap the bottom teeth when the mouth is closed, this creates a pronounced gap between the two.
In most cases, this gap is more apparent when looking at a person from a side profile view than when they are facing forward. The shape of the mouth may also appear different, being more elevated in the center rather than having even lips all around.
People with an overbite often have an immediately noticeable appearance, even if you’re not sure why it stands out, so it’s important to get treatment if needed to help maintain a balanced smile and frame for one’s facial features.
Causes of Overbite: How common is Overbite?
Overbite is relatively common and can be caused by genetic predisposition as well as environmental factors. A report from the American Dental Association showed that nearly 70% of children show signs of having some type of overbite.
Poor oral hygiene habits, a skeletal anomaly, or an abnormal relationship between the jawbone and supporting soft tissue can also lead to an overbite. It is also generally accepted that incorrect breathing habits, especially when coupled with thumb-sucking, make it more likely for someone to develop an overbite.
When left untreated, an overbite can lead to significant dental issues including tooth decay, periodontal disease, and pain from misalignment of the teeth and jaw joints.
Regular visits to an orthodontist for proper diagnosis and treatment are key for preventing long-term complications resulting from an overbite.
See our article: Orthodontist Coupons: Ways to Save Money on Aligners.
Symptoms of Overbite
Over time, an overbite can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms. While some may be purely cosmetic, such as having difficulty closing one’s lips all the way, dental problems can arise if left unmanaged.
The most common symptom of an overbite is a pain in the jaw area due to excessive grinding and gnashing when eating or talking. The pain can become even more severe from TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder, which is caused by discomfort in the jaw joints that results in frequent headaches or earaches.
Other symptoms may include affected facial appearance caused by a protruding upper jaw, difficulty biting and chewing food, difficulty speaking clearly, and excessive wear on the front teeth.
For adults, it is also common to experience changes in how the top and bottom rows of teeth fit together when closing their mouths.
Risks of Having Overbite
Having an overbite can lead to numerous health risks, including tooth decay, gum disease, speech impairment, TMJ issues, and painful chewing experiences.
When the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth too severely, it can cause food and bacteria to build up between the teeth leading to plaque buildup and eventually deteriorate enamel. This results in cavities and other oral hygiene issues such as gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Additionally, since the teeth are not lined up properly this can lead to difficulty speaking or slurred words due to the unnatural positioning of the tongue and mouth.
Jaw strain from having an incorrect bite can lead to headaches as well as jaw clenching or grinding which can further damage tight jaw muscles and surrounding nerves in the long term.
An article by the Canadian Dental Association states that a bad bite, sometimes caused by an overbite, means that teeth that are sticking out more are much more easily broken or chipped.
Does Fixing Overbite Change the Face Shape?
Overbite correction not only has the functional benefits of proper teeth alignment and bite, but it also can improve your facial structure.
As the teeth towards the back are pulled forward to their correct position and the jaw is realigned, the face can look more balanced and aesthetically pleasing.
If orthodontic treatments such as braces or clear aligners work to slowly coax the teeth into better positioning then they should also be helping to bring other facial features into a more symmetrical appearance.
We rely on a combination of both oral function and aesthetics for our overall health, it makes sense that overbite correction can produce some enhancing effects on your natural face shape.
As a result of these treatments, many people who have had their overbite corrected notice a drastic change to their face shape in terms of both structure and aesthetics.
How to Fix Overbite?
One way to fix an overbite is through the use of braces. Traditional metal braces are secured with brackets and wires and help to move teeth into the correct position, either by pushing or pulling them in the right direction. Braces should be worn for at least a year and regular appointments with your orthodontist are essential to keep track of progress.
Alternatively, clear aligners can be used to treat an overbite, they’re almost unnoticeable when worn, fitting snugly around each tooth, and can be ordered directly to your home which avoids any unnecessary hassles when undergoing treatment. Clear aligners provide progressive pressure on the teeth, gently guiding them back into the correct place.
Related post: Different Kinds of Braces.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does an Overbite Affect Jawline?
An overbite can significantly affect your jawline, as it develops by pushing the lower teeth back and shortening the jaw. This misalignment of the jaws can lead to an imbalance in your facial appearance and make other aesthetic features like your chin look disproportionate.
Additionally, the long-term effects of an untreated overbite can disrupt the normal development of the jaw bones, which may alter the shape of your natural jawline further.
Does an Overbite Change the Lip’s Shape?
An overbite can cause the upper and lower lips to change shape in different ways. The lower lip may be displaced outward and upward, resulting in a downward curve at the corner of the mouth. The upper lip may become covered with more gum tissue when a patient has an acute overbite, affecting the aesthetics but not necessarily the function of the lips.
Does an Overbite Increase With Age?
Yes, it can, and not only that the symptoms one might feel can worsen with age too.
Teeth can move as people age due to normal wear and tear or periodontal disease. Adults have less room in their mouths than children, causing their front teeth to tilt inwards towards the lower jaw and cause an overbite.
Can I Fix an Overbite Naturally?
It is not possible to fix an overbite without the help of braces, clear aligners, or other treatment types, but there are several ways you can help to prevent it.
Parents should encourage children to avoid thumb-sucking or chewing things like toys, and the overuse of dummies in infants can also have an effect.
Does Overbite Affect speech?
An overbite can affect how someone speaks, although it may not be completely noticeable in all cases.
A large overbite can cause speech impediments, such as lisping and difficulty pronouncing particular letters or words. If an individual is severely impacted by their overbite, speech therapy might be required to help them acquire proper speaking habits.
Does Overbite Need surgery?
In mild cases, orthodontic treatments can be effective in repositioning the teeth and jaws to correct an overbite. When orthodontic treatment alone cannot correct an overbite, surgery may be necessary to set the teeth back into optimal position.
Does Overbite Need braces?
For many people, an overbite is something that needs to be corrected with braces.
Braces and other types of treatment like clear aligners can help shift teeth into the proper position, often leading to greater self-confidence and improved oral health.
Orthodontic treatment will depend on the severity of the overbite and the type of braces used in your case.
What is the Cheapest Way to Fix an Overbite?
Typically the cheapest way to treat overbite is with clear aligners. They can cost significantly less than other types of braces and are much more convenient to use.
Although clear aligners are as effective as other types of braces the level of severity will determine the best treatment type to undertake.
Does Overbite Cause Double Chin?
Overbites can have different effects on the appearance of your face due to misalignment of the teeth.
An overbite causes a discrepancy between the lower and upper lips, which can make some people appear as though they have a double chin. Additionally, excessive gums or crowding of the front teeth can cause lengthening in the face and give the illusion of a double chin.
Does Overbite Cause Round Face?
If an overbite isn’t corrected, it can cause the lower jaw to narrow and pull the surrounding jaw bones inward. This causes the cheeks to become wider, giving a rounded appearance.
Additionally, when the front teeth are too far forward, they don’t meet up with the back teeth normally during biting and chewing. This can result in other facial imbalances as well as an ill-defined chin area that also leads to a round face shape.
How Long Does Invisalign Take to Fix an Overbite?
Invisalign is an effective treatment option for overbites and the average treatment time is 6 to 20 months depending on the severity of the issue.