What is Overbite? Causes, Health Concerns and Treatment Options

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overbite wearing braces

You may have heard the word "overbite" used occasionally, but what does it mean? Get comfortable, as we explore the world of overbite, simplifying its causes, discussing its significance for your well-being, and outlining possible solutions.

What is an Overbite?

The term "overbite" describes a vertical misalignment of the teeth. It occurs when there is excessive overlap between your upper and lower teeth. If left untreated, overbite can lead to gum disease, tooth erosion, and jaw pain.

What are the symptoms of an Overbite?

The following signs and symptoms can appear in an individual with a deep or severe overbite:

  • Having trouble fully extending or closing the jaw
  • Having trouble chewing off food bits
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) abnormalities or jaw pain
  • Difficulties speaking
  • Inadequate facial structure

Factors that Cause Overbite

An overbite can appear in both childhood and maturity and can be caused by a variety of reasons, including:

1. Molecular Biology

An overbite may result from the lower jaw's underdevelopment in comparison to the upper jaw.

2. Additional, impacted, or missing teeth

Your remaining teeth shift when you have missing teeth. This may cause an overbite by altering the position of your front teeth.

Health Risks

If left untreated, health risks can result in the following health issues:

  • Problems with eating and chewing
  • Teeth grinding
  • Premature or late tooth loss in kids
  • Breathing issues in the mouth
  • Dental decay
  • Gum disease
  • Difficulty cleaning teeth

Treatment of Overbite

Depending on the severity of the issue, there are various orthodontic treatment options available to address an overbite.

1. Braces

The most typical method of treating an overbite is to use braces, such as ceramic braces and clear aligners, which gradually move the teeth into the proper position.

With metal brackets, elastic bands, and o-rings, braces can sometimes be used to reposition just the teeth that are impacted by an overbite. Traditional metal braces might be your best bet for correcting a severe overbite.

2. Clear Aligners

An overbite can be treated with clear aligners in two ways: either by straightening the teeth to fit together properly or by utilizing a specific kind of tray called a "bite ramp" to gently push the teeth into their proper placements.

clear aligners to correct overbite
A girl wearing clear aligners to correct overbite

3. Palate Expander

Overbite can also be treated using the palate expander. It is an orthodontic device that is affixed to the teeth and inserted into the mouth. The expander gradually widens the palate and corrects overbite and overjet as it rotates.

4. Jaw Surgery

When treating jaw issues, jaw surgery is a complicated process that should only be carried out by a licensed and skilled oral surgeon. This procedure can treat an overbite through the expansion of the upper jaw and the forward movement of the bottom teeth.

Summing Up

This concludes our overview of overbites. Although they may appear to be just another quirk of human anatomy, they can have a significant impact on your overall health. It's important to monitor your overbite and discuss any issues you may have with your dentist, regardless of how severe it is. A joyful grin is ultimately a healthy smile!


1. What can lead to an overbite?

Hereditary factors, certain childhood behaviors like thumb-sucking or pacifier use, or the jaw's normal growth development can all contribute to overbite.

2. Does overbite only has an aesthetic impact, or does it also have an impact on one's health?

A slight overbite might not be too problematic, but more noticeable ones might result in jaw pain, trouble eating, and a higher chance of cavities and gum disease.