Often, dental problems start arising in childhood, such as malocclusion.
The most common type of malocclusion is an overbite. An overbite can be identified when the upper set of teeth overlaps the lower set of teeth by a proportion of 30-50%.
Fortunately, the signs of this dental problem can easily be noticed in childhood, which makes overbite correction easier and faster at an early stage. But before we go on to discuss how it can be corrected, let’s discuss its causes and the problems associated with it.
Causes of an Overbite
Improper Jaw Development –Too much or too little room to accommodate the entire set of teeth can result in bite problems. The teeth tend to grow in crooked or crowd each other in case of improper jaw development.
Thumb Sucking –Childhood habits such as thumb-sucking or overuse of pacifier can cause the tongue to push the back of the teeth. This, over time, results in an overbite.
Genetics –Genetics play a major role in the development of the jaw. Many children get an overbite from their parents. But it’s nothing to worry about since an overbite can always be fixed.
Problems Caused Due to an Overbite
An overbite teeth problem in children can cause severe health problems if left untreated. The most serious complication is temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ disorder) –tenderness and pain in the joint connecting the lower jaw to the skull. TMJ disorder can result in facial pain, uneasy jaw movement, and severe headaches. Therefore, overbite must be corrected as soon as possible to avoid it.
Other problems associated with an overbite are:
- Speech impediment
- Worn out tooth enamel
- Increased risk of gum disease
- Teeth grinding
- Jaw pain
- Discomfort while eating
Overbite, if not corrected, can also alter the facial structure. Many people also experience psychological issues such as low self-esteem due to a crooked smile and unappealing teeth. Therefore, if you notice the signs of an overbite problem in your child, consult an expert orthodontist right away.
Overbite correction is easy in children since their teeth and jaws are still growing. Moreover, children with overbite problems are likely to have only crooked or crowded teeth. More serious problems such as TMJ disorder, gum disease, change infacial structure, etc. arise in adults who leave the problem untreated.
Let’s discuss how to fix overbite in children.
Removal of Baby Teeth –When the lower and the upper jaw aren’t large enough to fit all the teeth, it is better to remove baby teeth and make room for permanent teeth to grow.
Permanent Tooth Extraction – In teens, the removal of permanent teeth is also a reliable solution. When there is enough space, the overlapping teeth shift and align correctly.
Braces –Braces are the most effective solution for an overbite. When pressure is consistently applied on the teeth and jaws, they move into their correct position. Braces treatment can be long. For example, in extreme cases of overbite, the treatment may last for up to 2 years.
An overbite may not bother much in childhood, but it can create severe dental problems later in life. Therefore, you must go for an early orthodontic evaluation of your child as soon as you notice any signs, and they will thank you for it when they grow up.
Creating perfect smiles is what Dr. Satish Pai is committed to. An orthodontist by profession, he believes that a perfect smile is a powerful part of a person’s personality. When he is not working hard on perfecting his patients’ smiles at Putnam Ortho, he is busy writing engaging articles about everything related to healthy and perfect smiles. His other passions include golf, yoga and surfing. Spending time with his family always brings a smile on his face.