If you or your child are part of the wide majority of people that do not have a perfect smile, you may be in need of orthodontic services. There are luckily many tools and processes available to help people whiten and straighten their teeth or fix an underbite or overbite. However, it can sometimes be difficult for individuals to determine whether or not their smile is normal or if they have an underbite or overbite. Continue reading to learn how to tell if you have an underbite or overbite.
Firstly, it is important to understand that your teeth should naturally overlap. Our teeth are not supposed to click right into each other when we bite down. Instead, your upper front teeth should partly cover your lower front teeth when you bite down. So if this is the case with your teeth, you likely don’t have anything to worry about.
An underbite occurs when your bottom front teeth cover the top front of your teeth. Underbites are sometimes referred to as prognathisms. The first way that you can tell that you have an underbite is to check if your top layer of teeth is behind your bottom teeth when you bite down. Typically underbites are the result of a misalignment in the jaw. So another way to tell if you or your child may have an underbite in addition to the bottom teeth covering the upper teeth is if the chin appears to be protruding more. This is an indication of both an underbite and jaw misalignment.
Underbites are caused by genetics typically. Overcrowded teeth and underbites often run in the family, so if you had an underbite, you should be prepared for your children to potentially have an underbite. Underbites can also be caused by bad habits in early childhood development including thumbsucking, thrusting the tongue against the teeth, and using a bottle for too long.
Overbites happen when there is too much of an overlap between the top teeth and the bottom teeth. Overbites can also occur due to genetics, prolonged thumb-sucking or bottle use, or tongue thrusting, but can also be caused due to other factors including excessive teeth grinding. Overbites can be spotted easily due to the way that the teeth fit in the mouth. The teeth will stick out from the mouth like buck teeth. If your front teeth look like buck teeth, then you likely have an overbite.
Overbites often cause individuals a lot of pain and can lead to much more serious issues including difficulty breathing, eating and talking, TMJ disorders, gum disease and tooth decay, and jaw pain. If you have large or protruding front teeth, then you should reach out to a dentist as soon as possible to figure out if you have an overbite and to be properly advised on what to do next.
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If you are concerned that you may have an extended overbite or underbite, it may be a good idea to reach out to us at Hendersonville Family Dental. We offer comprehensive dental care options from cosmetic dentistry to restorative care. We are able to help our clients understand the structure of their teeth and mouth and can advise them on what steps to take if it is determined that they have an underbite or an overbite. Reach out to us at Hendersonville Family Dental today for more information or to schedule an appointment.