Having a normal bite means your side teeth sit together comfortably, and your front top teeth slightly overlap your bottom teeth when your mouth is closed. A normal bite makes biting, chewing, and talking easier, but many people have misalignments that affect the function of their mouths.
An overbite occurs when your front top teeth extend too far past your bottom teeth. Also called buck teeth, an overbite can affect your ability to bite, chew, and even breathe.
While many people with minor overbites don’t experience complications, a severe overbite can lead to lifelong breathing difficulties. The good news is that overbites are treatable with orthodontic care.
Walied Touni, DDS, MSD, and our team at Touni Orthodontics in Sunnyvale, California, offer comprehensive treatment for overbites and other misalignments to give you a healthier smile. If you’re concerned about your overbite, read on to learn more about the links between bites and breathing.
How your overbite affects breathing
A severe overbite means that your upper jaw protrudes much farther forward than your lower jaw. Your front top teeth sit far in front of the teeth on bottom, and the condition may mean your lips don’t easily meet when your face is relaxed.
Having an overbite can lead to breathing difficulties for a few different reasons. You may be more likely to breathe through your mouth than your nose. In children, mouth breathing can make the upper jaw grow more than the lower jaw and lead to more complex oral deformities.
In many cases, a severe overbite makes your airways narrower, making snoring and obstructive sleep apnea more likely. Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders, and it can have some serious complications too.
Signs of obstructive sleep apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea develops when your airways get partially or fully blocked when you’re asleep. Sleep apnea means you stop breathing for periods of time during sleep, which can reduce oxygen flow throughout your body.
Common signs of obstructive sleep apnea include:
- Loud snoring
- Waking suddenly and gasping for air
- Waking with dry mouth
- Morning headache
- Fatigue or daytime sleepiness
Anyone can develop sleep apnea, and there are a number of risk factors. However, an overbite is a significant risk factor, especially if you have a smaller jaw.
How to treat your overbite
If you or your child have an overbite, Dr. Touni and our team can help you decide if overbite treatment is a good idea. We do comprehensive oral exams to diagnose your symptoms, and we offer a range of treatment options to correct bite misalignments.
Overbites can be treated with orthodontic treatment like braces or clear aligners. In some cases, we recommend tooth extraction or more advanced orthodontic procedures, like palate expansion.
Don’t ignore bite problems or telltale symptoms like mouth breathing and snoring. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Touni to find out if you could benefit from overbite treatment. Contact us to get your appointment scheduled. Call our office at 408-412-5249 or request an appointment online now.