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Dental malocclusion of any kind can affect the aesthetics of your smile. But that’s not all — misaligned teeth can actually cause multiple dental health issues. Among the many types of misalignment, there are many cases of overbite and underbite. Now, you might wonder what the difference between overbite vs. underbite is. If you are confused about how they differ, carry on reading this blog to learn about each misalignment.

Overbite vs. Underbite: What Sets Them Apart?

When it comes to overbite vs. underbite, the distinguishing factor is pretty simple. The difference lies in which jaw is involved. Also known as ‘buck teeth,’ an overbite is a name given to a type of dental malocclusion that occurs when the front teeth evidently overlap the lower arch. In comparison, an underbite occurs when the bottom front teeth overlap the top ones, giving an appearance of a protruding chin.

It is normal to have a slight overlap of front teeth. Hence, normally, our upper teeth do cover the lower front teeth upon biting down. Excessive overlap, however, can be identified as an overbite. Similarly, your dental specialist can determine if you have an underbite by examining your teeth and jaw.

Causes of Underbites & Overbites

Various factors can contribute to dental malocclusion. Whether you have an overbite or an underbite, there is an underlying reason for it.

If your upper front teeth overlap the lower ones, it could be because of the following factors:

  • Genetics
  • Bruxism
  • Prolonged pacifier use
  • Extended thumb-sucking
  • Tongue thrusting

When it comes to an underbite, the following reasons might be why:

  • Tongue thrusting
  • Prolonged thumbsucking
  • Using a pacifier longer than recommended
  • Trauma to the jaw or facial structure
  • Cleft lip, palate, or other birth defects

How to Fix an Overbite?

If you or your loved one has an overbite, it would need immediate dental attention. Otherwise, speech difficulties, worn-out tooth enamel, chewing problems, TMJ disorder, and more complications can occur. Your orthodontist might recommend one of the following treatments, depending on the severity of your overbite:

1. Braces: this orthodontic device is effective for treating an overbite. Often, rubber bands or other appliances are used along with braces to treat deep bites.
2. Invisalign: clear aligners are also used with Invisalign attachments and rubber bands to align as well as straighten the teeth.
3. Surgery: adult patients who have a severe overbite might require overbite surgery. Although it is rare, the steps involve braces or invisalign, jaw surgery, and braces or invisalign again to improve the malocclusion.

Treatment for Underbite

Underbite, too, can lead to dental complications if not treated on time. From TMJ disorder to headaches and sleep apnea, the consequences of untreated underbite are detrimental. Therefore, your dentist might recommend one of these to eliminate the underbite:

Braces: braces can remarkably improve the appearance of a mild underbite. Used with rubber bands, this treatment helps straighten teeth and applies the corrective force that shifts both the arches into the correct positions.
Invisalign: treating underbites with invisalign is possible in some cases. With the help of a connective force, both your teeth arches will be in perfect alignment by the end of this treatment.
Surgery: when it comes to adults, treating a severe underbite could be challenging. Combining surgery with orthodontic treatment, your dental specialist might recommend orthognathic surgery to treat your dental malocclusion.

The Final Word

Now that you have learned the difference between overbite vs. underbite visit your orthodontist if you suspect you have either! Our Adventure Orthodontics team works to provide you with high-quality dental care, keeping you safe from orthodontic issues. Dial (281) 353-5556 to talk to us now. You can also visit us at 17718 Kuykendahl Rd, Spring, TX, 77379, United States, to get started today.

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