Many orthodontic patients come to us with overbites, which is when the upper front teeth sit forward of the lower teeth. But some patients have what’s called a deep bite, which is a more significant overbite that can cause a host of problems further down the road. Do you have a deep bite? If so, how do you fix it? At Smith Orthodontics, we can answer these questions and set you on a path to your perfect smile!
What’s an Overbite vs. a Deep Bite?
Before we delve into deep bites, let’s start with the basics. A deep bite is a type of overbite. What is that? It’s a type of jaw misalignment called a “malocclusion.” That’s a technical way of saying that your upper jaw doesn’t line up correctly with your lower jaw.
Normally, your upper front teeth rest just over and against your lower front teeth. With an overbite, there’s a gap between those upper teeth and lower teeth. There are two types of classes. Class 1 is where the front teeth are 1-3mm forward of the lower teeth. The molars, or back teeth, generally line up with each other.
A Class 2 malocclusion is a more extreme overbite. This is what we call a deep bite. In these cases, the gap between the front upper teeth and the lower teeth is more than 3mm. In other words, it’s pretty significant. The back upper molars may also rest forward of where they should be against the lower molars. People often call this type of overbite “buck teeth” or an overjet.
How Did I Get a Deep Bite?
There are several factors that can lead to a deep bite. Some are preventable, while others aren’t. For example, some people have deep bites due to simple genetics. Their lower jaw may have formed smaller than the upper jaw, which causes the teeth to sit further back. On the other hand, a child sucking their thumb for an extended period can develop a deep bite because the thumb puts pressure on the upper teeth and forces them outward while forcing the palate (roof of the mouth) upward.
Overbites and deep bites can also be caused by tooth grinding, teeth crowding, and temporomandibular joint disorder.
Why Fix a Deep Bite?
Some patients want their deep bite fixed because of the way it looks. It’s true that a deep bite can change the shape of your face, causing your upper jaw to jut forward, sometimes to the point that your teeth can be seen through your lips. But a deep bite can do more than change the look of your face. It can lead to further problems later on.
Over time, a deep bite can cause:
- Jaw pain
- Excessive tooth wear
- Tooth decay
- Problems chewing
- Sleep issues, including snoring and sleep apnea
The sooner you correct a deep bite, the better you can avoid these issues.
How Do I Fix My Deep Bite?
Deep bites can be corrected through orthodontic treatment, and Smith Orthodontics has the tools and treatments to take care of your deep bite. Our clear and metal braces and clear aligners can take care of your deep bite, sometimes sooner than you think!
If you’re in the Wichita, KS, area, you can start by scheduling an in-office consultation. We’ll then contact you for an appointment for a complete, free, no-obligation consultation. We can determine whether you have a typical overbite or a deep bite and can recommend the best treatment, whether it’s with our clear or metal braces, our 3M Clarity clear aligners or Invisalign. We’ll even discuss financing options to fit your treatment into your budget.
Whether you have a typical overbite or a deep bite, we can help you achieve the smile of your dreams!