An overbite is the term used to describe the extension of the upper mouth beyond the limits of the lower mouth. An overbite is skeletal when the over-extension happens in your jaw; this means that your upper and lower jaws come in sizes or shapes that don't match, and that your upper jaw ends up protruding. Overbites can also be strictly dental in nature, which means your teeth in the upper half of your mouth protrude beyond those in the lower half of your mouth. Overbites happen for a variety of reasons including genetics, dentistry errors in the patient's childhood, or early tooth loss.
Many people decide to correct their overbites depending on the degree of the over-extension. The misalignment can be corrected with braces. Here are some of the reasons why people opt to fix their overbites through realigning braces.
Health and Hygiene Reasons
Misalignment makes it harder to maintain healthy teeth. Food is more likely to become lodged in teeth when they fit together abnormally, so contaminants are more likely to stay inside a mouth with an overbite. Misalignment also makes teeth harder to access for cleaning. As a result, food and ultimately bacteria build up between the teeth, causing weaknesses in the gums and bones. Diseases such as periodontitis and gingivitis become more likely for people with overbites. Although it is unlikely, severe diseases in the mouth can weaken the gums and bones over several years to such an extent that teeth begin to fall out of the mouth. Furthermore, the bacteria can spread out of the mouth and into the bloodstream, causing more serious health complications.
Wear and Tear Is More Likely
When teeth sit at odd angles, they can rub against each other with harmful results. People with overbites are more likely to clench or grind their teeth, which slowly wears them down. They are also more likely to accidentally chip or fracture teeth in ways that lead to painful and expensive dental work. Braces make teeth line up evenly, and reduce the risk of grinding and breaking.
Body Image and Self-Esteem
Sometimes, the motivation to get braces has to do with people's self-consciousness. A negative body image can be psychologically debilitating and getting one’s teeth straightened often makes people like the look of their own smile. Other times, overbites result in a heavy, labored breath commonly known as "mouth breathing." In rare cases, overbites can also cause speech impediments. Correcting the misalignment can make these people feel far more confident.
While many people opt for braces for aesthetic reasons, the classic Hollywood smile is not the only thing to be gained from this corrective dental treatment. Braces will straighten your teeth and correct an overbite, which can keep your teeth clean and make them harder to damage. Having straight teeth can prevent the king of poor hygiene or the kind of accidents that can break teeth or cause them to fall out of your mouth.