Overbite – We Answer Frequently Asked Questions

overbite face shape
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An overbite, commonly known as a deep bite, is a widespread dental condition characterized by the upper teeth extending far beyond the lower front teeth when biting down. This issue can impact both oral health and the appearance of one’s smile. Today, there are numerous orthodontic and dental treatments available to correct overbites.

This article will discuss various aspects of overbites, including the typical appearance of a face with an overbite, the genetic and environmental factors that can lead to this condition, and the symptoms that are often used in its diagnosis. It will also touch on the health risks associated with overbites, consider whether correcting an overbite can change the shape of the face, and outline the treatment options available, which range from nonsurgical to surgical methods.

What Does the Face With Overbite Look Like?

An overbite can significantly impact the overall appearance and symmetry of the face over time if left uncorrected. As the upper front teeth excessively overlap the lower row, certain facial features become more pronounced.

You may notice a “bulldog” appearance as the lower jaw recedes and the chin appears undersized compared to the rest of the face. Lips may seem to protrude since they have lost structural support, and visible wrinkles can form around the mouth. The profile view typically displays a flatter midface as the upper jaw and cheekbones look more projected forward without the balancing effects of the lower jaw. Skin sagging along the jawline also accelerates without this essential structural support.

When gazing at the entire facial complex, the upper features are more accentuated while the lower facial complex looks diminished and underdeveloped in adults with substantial overbites.

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Source: https://www.ericdavisdental.com/

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.

On the genetic front, the structure of one’s jaw and the size of the teeth, traits that are often inherited from one’s parents, can significantly influence the development of an overbite. For instance, a smaller jaw might not have sufficient space to accommodate all the teeth properly, leading to overcrowding and an outward protrusion of the upper teeth.

Environmental influences play a considerable role as well, particularly in early childhood. Habits such as prolonged thumb sucking, extended use of a pacifier beyond the typical age, and excessive reliance on bottle feeding can exert undue pressure on the teeth and jaw, encouraging them to move into an overbite position. As children grow, other habits like nail-biting, pencil chewing, or even tongue thrusting can contribute to the development or exacerbation of an overbite.

See our article: Orthodontist Coupons: Ways to Save Money on Aligners.

Risks of Overbite

Overbites, when left untreated, can lead to a variety of risks that extend beyond simple aesthetic concerns, impacting both oral health and overall well-being. One significant risk is the accelerated wear and tear on the teeth, particularly the front incisors. This occurs because the misalignment causes uneven force distribution when biting and chewing, leading to enamel erosion, increased tooth sensitivity, and a heightened likelihood of developing cavities or more serious dental issues.

Another risk associated with overbites is an increased susceptibility to gum disease. The misalignment can make proper oral hygiene more challenging, with hard-to-reach areas more prone to plaque buildup and gingivitis. In severe cases, this can lead to periodontitis, a more advanced form of gum disease that can damage the soft tissue and bone supporting the teeth, potentially leading to tooth loss.

Furthermore, overbites can contribute to or exacerbate conditions related to the jaw, such as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). TMJ can cause pain and discomfort in the jaw joint and muscles that control jaw movement, leading to chronic pain, headaches, and even difficulty in opening and closing the mouth. The strain placed on the jaw by an overbite can also lead to chronic headaches and earaches due to the interconnected nature of the craniofacial muscles and nerves.

Lastly, the psychological impact of an untreated overbite should not be underestimated. Individuals may experience decreased self-esteem and self-consciousness about their appearance, which can affect social interactions, professional opportunities, and overall quality of life.

Does Fixing Overbite Change the Face Shape?

Correcting an overbite can influence the shape and appearance of the face, often leading to noticeable improvements in facial aesthetics. The extent of change depends on the severity of the overbite and the specific treatment approach.

When the upper teeth significantly overlap the lower teeth, it can cause the lower jaw to appear receded, making the chin less prominent. Orthodontic treatments, such as braces or clear aligners, aim to realign the teeth and jaw, which can bring the lower jaw forward to a more natural position.

This adjustment can enhance the jawline’s definition and create a more balanced profile. In cases where the overbite is corrected at a younger age, the changes can be more pronounced due to the adaptability of the developing facial structures. For adults, while the changes are generally more subtle, they can still significantly enhance facial harmony and symmetry.

How to Fix Overbite?

Fixing an overbite typically involves orthodontic treatments that gradually realign the teeth and jaw. Braces are a common solution, using metal brackets and wires attached to the teeth to apply pressure and move the teeth into the correct position over time. This method is effective for moderate to severe overbites and can address complex alignment issues.

Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, offer a less visible alternative, consisting of a series of custom-made, transparent plastic trays that fit over the teeth. Aligners are particularly popular among adults and teens seeking a more discreet treatment option. They are best suited for mild to moderate overbites and allow for easier oral hygiene and eating since they can be removed.

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.

Sources

Khosravi R, et al. Management of overbite with the Invisalign appliance. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2017;151:691e699.e2. Available online at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28364892/

Cenzato, N., Nobili, A., Maspero, C., Prevalence of Dental Malocclusions in Different Geographical Areas: Scoping Review. Dent J (Basel). 2021 Oct; 9(10): 117. DOI: 10.3390/dj9100117. Available online at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8534899/

Lombardo, G., Vena, F., Negri, P., Pagano, S., Barilotti, C., Paglia, L., Colombo, S., Orso, M., Cianetti, S., Worldwide prevalence of malocclusion in the different stages of dentition: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Paediatr Dent. 2020 Jun;21(2):115-122. DOI: 10.23804/ejpd.2020.21.02.05. Available online at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32567942/

Abreu LG, Paiva SM, Pordeus IA, Martins CC. Breastfeeding, bottle feeding and risk of malocclusion in mixed and permanent dentitions: a systematic review Braz Oral Res 2016; 30. doi: 10.1590/1807-3107BOR-2016.vol30.0022. Available at: Breastfeeding, bottle feeding and risk of malocclusion in mixed and permanent dentitions: a systematic review.

Iza Wojnarowski

Content contributor

Iza is a dedicated content contributor for Toothific. Having worn braces twice and currently using Invisalign to correct a mild overbite, Iza brings a unique perspective to her writing. She spends her time staying updated on the latest dental trends and treatments, ensuring her readers have the most current information for their dental care needs.

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