What is an overbite?
Your top teeth should slightly overlap your lower teeth for the ‘perfect bite’. This position helps your top teeth to fit together with your bottom teeth correctly when you bite together – enabling you to chew efficiently.
A ‘normal’ bite has an overlap of approximately 1–2 mm. Anything over 3mm is considered an overbite.
Many people have a slight overbite. Occasionally, though, overbites can be severe and affect the appearance, health and function of your smile.
Overbite or overjet?
An overbite can sometimes be confused with an overjet. With an overbite, there’s a vertical overlap of the lower teeth. With an overjet, the upper teeth protrude horizontally past the lower teeth. Overjets are sometimes referred to as ‘buck teeth’.
Overbites and overjets are easy to confuse, and they can look similar at a glance. It’s possible to have both an overbite and overjet.
What causes an overbite?
Some overbites are hereditary – genetic traits such as the shape of our jaws are passed down from our parents.
If the size, shape or position of your jawbones are responsible for your overbite, you have a skeletal overbite.
A dental overbite is caused by other influences, for example, misaligned teeth, missing teeth or habits like prolonged thumb sucking.
Why we treat overbites
If you are concerned about your overbite, you can visit us in Clonmel for a no-obligation consultation with specialist orthodontist Dr. Jackie Clune.
You might not like the appearance of your overbite, or you may be worried about its impact on the health of your teeth and gums.
Sometimes, teeth that are misaligned grind together, which can damage your enamel, leaving you more vulnerable to tooth decay.
If your overbite is severe and affects your gumline, it could cause receding gums and periodontal disease.
If your lower teeth touch the roof of your mouth when you bite together, this could gradually damage the bone that supports your upper front teeth. In rare cases, it can even lead to tooth loss.
Treatments for overbites
During your consultation, Dr. Jackie Clune will carry out a comprehensive assessment of your smile to see if you could benefit from braces.
We can straighten teeth using fixed braces or Invisalign clear aligners. So we can explore all your options together.
Very occasionally, we recommend jaw surgery combined with braces to give you the best outcome.
Traditional fixed braces are available with metal or clear ceramic brackets. We’ll attach your braces to your teeth for the duration of your treatment. Fixed braces are a popular cost-effective option for all ages – they’re also excellent at straightening teeth.
Our patients love Invisalign for its discreetness and convenience. There are no metal brackets or wires, just crystal-clear aligners that you can remove to eat and drink. It’s virtually invisible and consistently achieves fantastic results.
If we recommend jaw surgery, we can refer you to a maxillofacial surgeon for a consultation. We work closely with consultants to provide a seamless journey.
How can we help?
If you have any questions about overbites or braces, we’d love to hear from you. You can request a free virtual consultation through our website. Or you can visit us in Clonmel for a no-obligation consultation with Dr. Jackie Clune.