What causes overbite, and how to treat it?

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Malocclusion or "buck teeth" is another term for an overbite. Many people prefer to live with buck teeth rather than treat them. Others may want to have their overbite treated for aesthetic reasons. Therefore, it is important to know the causes of overbite and the treatment options to avoid consequences such as a tooth, gum, or tongue injury from accidental biting.


What causes an overbite?


An overbite can be inherited in many cases. Moreover, the alignment of your teeth might be affected by genetic factors such as jaw shape.


Other factors include:


Tongue-thrusting: Tongue thrust is caused by the tongue pressing too forward in the mouth. While this commonly results in an "open bite" malocclusion, it can also create an overbite. The illness is most frequent in youngsters, although it can also affect adults. Furthermore, overbite is a result of various factors, including persistently enlarged adenoids or tonsils and poor swallowing patterns. Stress can also induce it in adults. During sleep, some adults protrude their tongues, causing an overbite.


Genetics: Some people have an uneven or tiny upper or lower jaw from birth. An overbite or big front teeth are frequently inherited, and your parents, siblings, or other relatives may have a similar appearance.


Miss teeth: Overbite is also caused by the spacing or crowding of your front teeth. When you have missing teeth, your remaining teeth move over time, changing the position of your front teeth.


Tumors in the mouth and jaw: Tumors and cysts in the mouth or jaw can alter the structure of your mouth and jaw. This occurs when chronic swelling or a soft tissue development in the top portion of your mouth or jaw causes your teeth to move forward.


What are the symptoms of an overbite?


The most noticeable symptom of an overbite is that your top front teeth overlap past your bottom front teeth. Overbites can also result in:


  • Difficulty in opening or shutting your mouth completely.
  • Jaw ache.
  • Discomfort while eating
  • Speech difficulties


Health risks related to an overbite?


An overbite can lead to various problems, including:


  • Speech problems
  • Breathing problems
  • Chewing difficulties
  • Discomfort during eating or biting.
  • Changes in facial appearance


What are treatment options for an overbite?


Your dentist is usually the first healthcare practitioner to identify an overbite during a physical exam. The dentist may take dental X-rays to check further the overbite and how your teeth align. Moreover, your dentist may recommend that you see an orthodontist. A dentist specializing in tooth and jaw alignment is an orthodontist. Children and adults have distinct overbite repair needs.


Treatment for adults may include:


  • Braces that only reposition the teeth impacted by an overbite.
  • Surgery to realign the jaws.
  • Teeth extraction to make place for the remaining teeth.


Living with an overbite


If you have an overbite, you may maintain your teeth and mouth healthy by doing the following:


  • Maintaining good dental hygiene.
  • Use a night guard if you have a habit of tongue thrusting or grinding your teeth while sleeping.
  • Visit your dentist every six months.
  • Use a mouthguard while playing contact sports.




An overbite usually occurs when your top front teeth protrude beyond your bottom front teeth. In extreme situations, an overbite can cause health concerns such as jaw discomfort, gum disease, and tooth decay. If you have an overbite, you can maintain your mouth healthy by practicing good dental hygiene and seeing your dentist regularly. Overbites in adults may necessitate jaw surgery to fix the misalignment.


Contact your Pinole dentist, Dr. Hoss Abar, DDS, MSD at Abar Orthodontics, to know more about the causes and treatment of overbite.




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This media/content or any other on this website does not prescribe, recommend, or prevent any treatment or procedure. Therefore, we highly recommend that you get the advice of a qualified dentist or other medical practitioners regarding your specific dental condition

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