What is an Overbite?

Overbite and braces

Overbite is a condition in which the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth.

Overbite is not necessarily a bad thing; most people have some degree of overbite. It’s when the overbite is too little or too large that problems may arise. An excessive or large overbite, also called a deep bite, can cause unhealthy teeth wearing, aesthetic concerns, and in some instances even jaw pain.

Overbite is often described as a percentage – the percentage of your lower front teeth that are covered by your upper front teeth – and an ideal overbite ranges from 5-25%. Overbite is a condition which is usually first seen in young children and, as a consequence, correction of an overbite is usually performed on children aged between 10 and 12 years old. However, an overbite can be corrected in adults as well, so there is no age limit for treatment.

Although some overbites are hereditary, others are caused by a malformed jaw. Jaws can actually grow unevenly under the pressure of certain habits when a child is young, resulting in an underdeveloped lower jaw or an overdeveloped upper jaw. Habits formed during early childhood, for example – such as thumb-sucking, prolonged bottle-feeding or tongue-thrusting – can cause this overbite. And habits developed later in life, such as nail-biting, can form an overbite as well.

The most common treatment method for an overbite is orthodontics. After examining your mouth and jaw positioning, we can determine the course of treatment that’s most compatible with your or your child’s misalignment. We will first x-ray the teeth and take impressions; this allows us to better understand the alignment of the upper and lower jaws. Dental braces are then the next step for the purposes of straightening teeth, but the form they take depends on how much correction is needed.

Talk to one of our team members today about the right orthodontic treatment for you or your child by calling us on 01706 370058 or email enquiries@mfdental.co.uk.