If you have recently been told by your dentist that you are suffering from what is called a malocclusion, the first thought on your mind would be that your dentist has suddenly started speaking a foreign language. In effect, what you are being told is that you have an overbite. These can be moderate to severe and may be painful.
Some patients go through life without any problems and aren’t aware of the issue unless a dentist tells them. Others experience pain, especially in the jaw, and end up in the dentist’s chair to find out what is going on. Why are they in pain when they have no cavities? If you have been told you have an overbite, don’t panic just yet because there are several treatment options which may work for you.
Understand the Diagnosis Before Agreeing to a Treatment
Many people trust their dental or medical professionals to tell them the right course of action after having been given a diagnosis. However, there are others who seek a second opinion and that may be the wisest course of action. What you can do is tell your dentist you want to think about it or talk to your husband, but with the thought in mind that you want to know more about this condition and the possible treatments before agreeing to anything. You can always read up on overbites online at sites like Health Row so that you can understand in everyday English what this particular dental issue is all about. It helps when you can read in a language you understand.
What Are the Causes of Overbites?
There are a few main causes of malocclusions, but the most common are genetic and thumb sucking as a baby. This forces the upper teeth to grow forward, causing an overbite. An overbite is where the top teeth protrude too far out and over the bottom dental line whereas an underbite is the exact opposite. Both can be corrected, but both can cause serious issues if left untreated.
The Two Main Treatments for Overbites
For many years, braces were the main corrective treatment for overbites. You have probably seen many adolescents wearing braces, and maybe even adults in your close circle of friends. While braces can help to adjust the spacing of teeth, they can also redirect the direction in which they grow. Braces are a common treatment, but in recent years, a product called Invisalign has been promoted. This is aesthetically more pleasing but has been found less effective than braces.
There are other options available as well, which you may want to look into. Sometimes, dentists recommend jaw expanders, retainers, and a variety of other orthodontic devices that redirect the growth of teeth over time. However, if you have what is referred to as a skeletal overbite, you may require treatments which are more complex. Always talk to your dentist once you have done the research because your treatment of preference may not be effective in the type and severity of your malocclusion. Even so, as the patient, you have a right to know your options, so do your homework before getting back in that chair.