Overlapping teeth can be visually diagnosed by observing that some teeth jut in front of others, crowd each other, or are slightly rotated. While sometimes isolated to one tooth, widespread overlapping teeth can have a lasting impact on confidence and oral health when left untreated.
There are several potential causes for overlapping teeth as well as effective treatments that can take care of the problem before it becomes too serious. Read on to learn about this specific type of malocclusion and what you can do to correct it if you or your child suffer from overlapping teeth.
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What are Overlapping Teeth?
Overlapping, misaligned, or crowded teeth can cause discomfort and look bad. Adults and kids with crooked smiles often suffer from low self-confidence, which is just one reason to have this problem checked out. Before you or your child starts refusing to smile in pictures, it’s best to see if the problem can be easily addressed.
Overlapping teeth can be isolated to one crooked, misaligned, or rotated tooth, or many teeth. The more teeth that are affected, the more potential problems could arise.
What Causes Overlapping Teeth?
Overlapping teeth can have several causes, many of which are out of your control. Overlapping teeth can be caused by a mouth that’s too small to comfortably fit new teeth, which causes overcrowding when they try to come in.
They can also be caused by having too many or too few teeth, which can hinder the normal process of how teeth grow in and fall out.
If your upper and lower jaws are different sizes, this can also cause teeth to overlap, as well as affect your bite, causing an overbite or underbite when one jaw doesn’t line up properly with the other.
Childhood habits like thumb- and bottle-sucking may be to blame for overlapping teeth. When done excessively, these habits can change a child’s palette, which affect how their teeth come in.
Finally, overlapping teeth can be caused by accidents. These include dental restorations that are poorly administered as well as health problems. Gum disease and jaw tumors can adversely affect tooth structures in the long run, causing teeth to overlap.
Consequences of Overlapping Teeth
Due to a myriad of potential health complications with overlapping teeth, it is paramount to be evaluated by an orthodontist and treated as soon as possible. Potential oral health issues that could result from overlapping teeth include:
- Bite issues – As mentioned, overlapping teeth can cause one jaw to become misaligned with the other, resulting in an overbite or underbite.
- Speech issues – When severe, overlapping teeth can cause speech impediments.
- Jaw pain – When teeth remain misaligned, uneven pressure can be placed on them, causing jaw pain and even headaches.
- Oral diseases – When teeth are overlapping, crooked, or misaligned, they can be more difficult to clean. This can lead to debris and plaque building up and causing an increased risk for tooth decay, gum disease, and cavities.
Treatments for Overlapping Teeth
Overlapping teeth, whether on the top or bottom jaw, can be fixed with common orthodontic treatments. These options include braces, Invisalign, sculpting, and veneers.
- Braces represent a tried-and-true way to correct overlapping teeth. Different types of braces can be used to correct individual issues. These include metal braces, lingual braces, and more. Whether connected by an archwire over a whole row of teeth, attached to only a few teeth, or attached to the back of your teeth, braces can fix overlapping teeth over time.
- Invisalign works similarly to conventional braces despite being made from molded plastic trays. They can be removed when eating and look less obvious when worn. Due to their comfort, convenience, and near-invisibility, Invisalign is a more expensive treatment for overlapping teeth than conventional braces.
- Sculpting can help correct mild to moderately overlapping teeth. This technique uses a laser to sculpt teeth into their correct spaces using an orthodontist’s discretion to make the necessary adjustments. This technique is quicker than braces but can potentially weaken teeth during treatment.
- Veneers can be custom-made by your dentist to cover your front row of teeth and facilitate sculpting. Ask your orthodontist if veneers could be a viable treatment for your overlapping teeth.
Choose Reese Orthodontics
If you’re an adult who is considering braces, you need professional advice on your treatment and payment options. For orthodontic treatments in Charleston, SC, Reese Orthodontics offers the latest technology and treatment plans. Our advanced and comfortable orthodontic treatments can be customized to suit your needs. A consultation with Reese Orthodontics includes scans, a comprehensive exam, and a conversation with the orthodontist to discover which treatment options are right for you.
Schedule an appointment with us today to stay ahead of your oral health and receive the best possible treatment in your area.