Overbite is one of the most common dental malocclusion problems among people, some of whom may think that it is only an aesthetic problem, since it is sometimes imperceptible when the truth is that it can cause functional problems, altering and hindering chewing, among other inconveniences.
Everything you need to know about overbite or deep bite and its solution
1. What is overbite?
An overbite is characterized by the upper teeth vertically covering the lower teeth. This type of malocclusion is usually due to the maxilla being advanced with respect to the mandible, causing an overlap when biting.
Overbites can occur in different degrees and can cover the lower teeth completely. The overbite is considered to be increased when the upper incisors cover one-third of the lower incisors.
It should be taken into account that, although the cause of an overbite can be genetic, sometimes bad habits during childhood can also cause it, which is why it is advisable to take children to the dentist when their first teeth appear.
2. What problems does overbite cause?
As mentioned above, there are different degrees of overbite and therefore, the greater the degree of overbite, the more important the problems it generates:
- Dental crowding.
- Increased likelihood of caries as crowding can make oral hygiene more difficult.
- Increased likelihood of periodontal disease for the same reason.
- More mandibular bruxism, due to excessive tension exerted on the jaw.
- Tooth wear: wear of the posterior area of the upper incisors and the incisal area of the lower incisors.
3. How can it be avoided?
It is important to note that overbite cannot be avoided. This is due to the fact that genetic inheritance is the main cause of this type of malocclusion, as we have already mentioned. In fact, most people with this type of dental malocclusion have a family history of overbite.
4. How is overbite treated?
Treatment to correct overbite will depend on both the degree of malocclusion and the patient’s age.
4. 1. Interceptive orthopaedics (for children).
Interceptive orthodontics is performed at very early ages between 6 and 11 years and serves to guide the development of the jaws while they are in the growth phase.
People with overbite usually have other associated jaw problems (mandibular retroposition, ogival palate…) and therefore it will be the orthodontist who will determine which type of appliance is the most convenient. Treatment time usually ranges from 9 to 18 months.
4. 2. Orthodontics (for adolescents and adults).
In the case of adolescents and adults, it is only possible to correct the position of the teeth. That is, no bone modifications can be made. This type of treatment is carried out by means of brackets (metallic or aesthetic) or transparent aligners such as Invisalign.
As mentioned above, overbite is often associated with other underlying problems such as crowding or Class II and therefore, treatment time may vary from patient to patient. Orthodontic treatments can range from 12 to 30 months.
4. 3. Orthognathic surgery (adults).
Although most often an overbite can be treated with orthodontic treatment alone, in some cases the cause of the overbite is skeletal in origin. In other words, the origin of the problem is found in a vertically excessive maxilla and therefore, we have to resort to orthognathic surgery (combined with braces or Invisalign) to correct it. Orthognathic surgery is a speciality that aims to make corrections in the jaw bones of adult patients.