Overbites can make it difficult to chew and increase the risk of tooth decay. They can also make you self-conscious about the way you talk and present yourself. Here at Midlothian Dental Center, we want to help you feel your most confident and protect your pearly whites for years to come. One of the ways in which we do this is by treating any crooked or misaligned teeth with Invisalign. Today we’re going to walk through the most common causes of an overbite, what problems could present themselves if left untreated, and most importantly how we treat this condition.
What are the most common causes of an overbite?
If you have crooked teeth or misaligned bites, there’s a good chance that these traits were inherited. Family genetics is the most common cause of an overbite.
Oral Childhood Habits
You may have heard that habits like thumbsucking are a cause for concern over the age of 5 (which is around the time adult teeth start to come in), but there are a few other habits that could potentially contribute to an overbite including: tongue thrusting and lip sucking.
Whether caused by trauma, poor oral hygiene habits, gum disease, or other health conditions, tooth loss can cause the alignment of your other teeth to shift. If removal of a tooth is necessary, your dentist will cover next steps in keeping your teeth properly aligned.
Small Lower Jaw
Jaw alignment issues can happen when your lower jaw is shorter than your upper jaw. The teeth on the bottom jaw can grow up into the backs of the top teeth or even into the roof of your mouth. As this happens, they can become overcrowded and result in a misaligned jaw.
What problems might arise if an overbite is not corrected?
If an overbite is not corrected, you may experience:
- Difficulty chewing
- Increased risk of tooth decay and cavities
- Increased risk of cracked/broken teeth due to strain
- Psychological issues with self-confidence from possible speech impediment
How can you get rid of an overbite? Does it require a specialized treatment plan?
Two of our most popular treatments for misaligned teeth include Invisalign. Invisalign uses clear removable aligners to straighten your teeth without metal wires or brackets. If your dentist determines that Invisalign is the best treatment option for you, we’ll send off your records and treatment plan, and then Invisalign will translate our instructions into a series of precisely customized aligners. Each set of aligners will be worn for around two weeks, and will gradually move your teeth closer and closer to the desired result. These aligners are worn all the time, except when eating, drinking, or brushing your teeth.
If your overbite is more severe, your dentist may recommend that you visit an orthodontist in your area for a more extensive treatment plan. This could potentially include braces, tooth removal (if absolutely necessary), or surgery. But the first step is a visit to your primary dentist to determine if the overbite can be treated “in-house.”
For more information on treating an overbite or misalignment, please give us a call at (804) 794-4588 to book an appointment.