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Overbite is when the upper teeth are protruding over the lower teeth, often poking through the lips.  This can cause problems both aesthetically and with malocclusion issues.

Causes of Overbite

Thumb sucking or the use of dummies or pacifiers, and the size of the jaw and alignment between the top and bottom, are two causes of overbite.

Overbite Problems

Overbite can cause many of the same problems as any other malocclusion.  The main problems associated with overbite are:

  • Unnatural appearance.  The front teeth are very prominent causing the mouth and face to have a strange appearance.
  • The front teeth might wear down faster than otherwise
  • Damage to the gums and roof of the mouth
  • Speech impediments

Treatment for Overbite

It is preferred to treat the person with overbite when they are young, usually between the ages to 10 and 14.  This is when the jaw and teeth are still developing and makes treatment and manipulation a lot easier.

Your teeth will be X-rayed and examined extensively to assess the alignment of the jaw and the extent of the overbite. 
Your dentist will refer you to an orthodontist if they feel that treatment is necessary.

Your orthodontist will discuss your options with you and decide what the best course of treatment is.  The main procedures used to correct overbite are braces, surgery and straightening.  The full extent of the treatment might take over 2 years to complete.