Overbite Correction Without Surgery

An overbite is one of the most common dental problems we see at Southland Dental Care. If you are bothered by an overbite and want a more radiant and aligned smile, there are many solutions to correct overbite without surgery. It’s never too late for overbite correction in Los Angeles!

What Is an Overbite?

An overbite is a type of malocclusion or bad bite in which the upper teeth extend over the lower teeth when you close your mouth. An overbite doesn’t just happen because your lower jaw is too short or your upper jaw is too long.

Overbites can be vertical which means the upper teeth noticeably overlap the bottom teeth, or horizontal which means the top teeth protrude past the bottom teeth. A horizontal overbite is more commonly called an overjet. There are also two broad types of overbites: dental overbites which happen when the teeth are misaligned and skeletal overbites which happen when the jaw is the cause of the overbite.

Along with the types of overbites, there are three classes of overbites that refer to the severity of the malocclusion:

  • Class 1 or neutroocclusion: This is the most common type of overbite and it happens when the upper teeth slightly overlap the bottom teeth but the bite is otherwise normal. You may also have other dental issues like overcrowding.
  • Class 2 or distocclusion: This happens when the upper teeth and jaw severely overlap the lower teeth. This causes the front teeth to protrude (buck teeth) and the back teeth may be positioned over the lower jaw’s center teeth.
  • Class 3 or mesiocclusion: This happens when the lower front teeth protrude more than the upper teeth (underbite). This can happen when your lower jaw is larger than your upper jaw or the upper jaw is too short.

When Does an Overbite Develop?

In most cases, an overbite develops in early childhood as a result of habits like thumbsucking. Treatment to correct overbite without surgery is usually performed on children around 10 to 12 years old, but this does not mean overbite correction is reserved for children. There is no limit on the age of treatment and it’s possible to correct overbite without surgery in adults as well as children.

What Causes an Overbite?

Overbites are usually caused by repetitive behavior that forces the teeth out of a normal alignment. Behaviors like thumbsucking in childhood narrow the arch of the mouth which forces upper teeth to move forward. The most common habits and behaviors that contribute to an overbite include:

  • Thumbsucking which pushes the upper teeth and upper jaw forward and the lower jaw backward. Thumbsucking can also cause an open bite, another type of malocclusion in which the bottom and front teeth are directed outward and do not touch, even with the mouth closed.
  • Sustained pacifier use
  • Overuse of a baby bottle
  • Frequently pushing the tongue against the upper teeth