What is an overbite?
An overbite is where your upper front teeth overlap your lower front teeth vertically. Most people have a slight overbite of around 2–4mm.
Severe overbites (also known as deep bites) are often less desirable and can sometimes affect the health and appearance of your smile:
- A pronounced overbite can cause the chin to recede, creating a shorter, rounder face shape
- The upper teeth may appear overly long and prominent
- If you’re biting onto your soft tissues, this could cause gum recession, which can eventually lead to gum disease and even tooth loss
- Similarly, if you’re biting onto other teeth with excess force, this could erode or fracture your enamel (the hard layer that protects your teeth)
- If your teeth don’t bite together correctly, you might struggle to chew food efficiently
- Significant overbites can make it difficult to pronounce certain sounds
- If your front teeth also protrude, you may be more at risk of accidental injury (particularly if you enjoy contact sports)
- Sometimes, a misaligned jaw can cause chronic pain, affecting your ability to enjoy a good night’s sleep, among other things
It’s important not to confuse an overbite with an overjet. An overjet is where the upper front teeth protrude horizontally past the lower teeth. It’s possible to have both an overbite and overjet.
What causes an overbite?
The underlying cause of an overbite is usually a shorter than average lower jaw. Most overbites are hereditary, and your parents or siblings may have a similar appearance.
Childhood habits like thumb sucking can also contribute to the severity of overbites.
If you’re unhappy about your overbite, orthodontic treatment can help to realign your teeth and jaws. Our orthodontists in London are specialists in teeth straightening, and experts in the way teeth bite together.
Overbites can be corrected using a wide range of treatment options, including fixed and removable braces. Occasionally, if your overbite is very severe, we may recommend jaw surgery for the best outcome.
Invisalign for overbites
Invisalign is a popular way to treat overbites. It uses a series of custom-made, clear aligners to straighten your teeth and discreetly align your jaws. It’s virtually invisible, so for many adults it’s a welcome alternative to fixed metal braces.
Another benefit of Invisalign is that you can take your aligners out to eat and drink. You can also remove them to brush and floss, so it’s easy to keep your teeth and gums spotless throughout your treatment.
You’ll find lots of information about Invisalign throughout our website. If you’re ready to arrange a free no-obligation consultation, please get in touch.