What do you see when you look at your smile? Are your front teeth neatly aligned? Or do your upper teeth stick out and cover up the teeth on the bottom?
If your top teeth overlap the bottom ones, you could have an overbite: one of the most common types of jaw misalignment. Overbites are often nicknamed buck teeth, and having an overbite can be embarrassing — but it may also have a lasting impact on your oral health.
Walied Touni, DDS, MSD, and our team at Touni Orthodontics in Sunnyvale, California, recognize the importance of properly aligned teeth. We specialize in diagnosing and treating overbites to improve the look and function of your smile.
How an overbite changes your mouth
Your teeth, gums, jaw, and tongue rely on each other to help you chew and speak. If you have an overbite or another type of misalignment, it could interfere with normal mouth function and put your oral health at risk.
Overbites change the way your upper and lower teeth meet when you move your mouth. A severe overbite may wear down your bottom teeth faster than average or put extra strain on surrounding teeth.
When you bite down, your bottom teeth could rub against the gums behind your top front teeth, while your top teeth rub against the gums on the front of your bottom teeth. Over time, this friction can cause gum recession.
Severe overbites can be uncomfortable and inhibit your mouth’s normal function. In addition to abnormal wear and tear on teeth and gums, overbites can cause:
- Chewing difficulties
- Jaw pain
- Mouth breathing
- Speech difficulties
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders
- Tooth decay
Overbites range in severity, so you might not experience all these symptoms if you have one. A minor overbite might not pose a significant oral health risk, but it can still affect your confidence.
Correcting your overbite for a healthier smile
If you’re concerned about your overbite, schedule an appointment at Touni Orthodontics. We do comprehensive oral exams to evaluate the severity of your overbite and propose a treatment plan for you.
Dr. Touni specializes in orthodontics for children, teens, and adults, and it’s never too early to have an overbite evaluation. Many early childhood habits, like thumb-sucking and pacifier use, can cause overbites; and early intervention can help teeth come in straighter.
Older children, teens, and adults have a few options when it comes to correcting overbites. Dr. Touni may recommend traditional braces or clear aligners to straighten teeth.
If your teeth are overcrowded, extractions could give them more space. People with narrow palates or small jaws may benefit from palate expansion treatment.
Whether you’re worried about how your overbite looks or how it could be affecting your oral health, now’s the time to seek treatment. Call our office or request an appointment online today.