Overbites Explained

Simply put, an overbite happens when the teeth of the upper jaw pass too far over the teeth of the lower jaw. Dentists call it by the fancy term “class 2 malocclusion.” Overbite teeth cause a number of cosmetic facial issues as well as causing problems in the jaw, facial muscles and airway. Keep reading to learn more about the problems overbites create, the factors that cause them and how to fix an overbite.



Overbites Cause Health Problems? 

Most people with overbite teeth are concerned about how it looks. Depending on the extent of the overbite, it can cause moderate to severe cosmetic issues. However, the real concern with an overbite are the health risks it creates.

These health risks are due to the way that jaws in overbite work together. When the jaws can’t come together in a balanced, normal way, it stresses the jaw joint and face muscles. This leads to TMJ issues, headaches and facial pain. In addition, it also reduces airflow contributing to the development of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and speech problems.



What Cosmetic Issues Do They Cause?

The most common way that an overbite changes a person’s face is so distinctive that healthcare professionals have a colorful name for it. They call it “Old Man Syndrome.” As the upper teeth jet out and cover the lower ones, the face collapses or shortens. The same problem that shrinks the airway also compresses the face. Because the skin remains the same, it bunches into pre-mature wrinkles making a person look older than they are. This facial shortening also decreases the jaw line, makes lips look thinner and collapses the profile. Fortunately, fixing the overbite can fix both the cosmetic issues and resolve the the health problems.

Overbite teeth what is an overbite how to fix an overbite

Fix Overbite and Turn Back the Clock

If you to correct your overbite, you have several options to correct it and turn back the clock. Because uneven jaw sizes most often creates overbites, jaw surgery is a corrective option. However, some patients can be treated with Teeth Restorations or Invisalign. These treatments provide relief from painful facial muscle pain and other symptoms as well as correction of the downward facial and profile collapse. Read more on ways of correcting this problem on Invisalign’s site. Still don’t believe us? Check out this article from the New York Times on the ways that dentistry is turning back the clock. 

Overbite Magic – Early Treatment is Easier

Overbites can be reversed when treated early on while the jaw is still growing. Check out this video and learn more.

How Do Overbites Happen?

Overbites can be caused by abnormal bone growth patterns, by orthodontic issues or by a combination of the two.

  • Most commonly, they happen due to an abnormal growth pattern. This simply means that either the upper jaw (the maxilla) has grown larger than normal or the lower jaw (the mandible) has not developed sufficiently.
  • Another cause could be teeth eruption (orthodontic) issues. This means that something has kept the teeth in the lower jaw back, or the upper teeth have come too far forward.
  • Sometimes a combination of these factors causes the overbite. If someone’s genes predispose them to have a shorter lower jaw and they also have a tooth eruption issue, they will end up with an overbite. These are complex cases and are treated after careful evaluation – no shotgun approach for these cases!

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