If your lower front teeth are almost entirely invisible when you bite down, you may have a severe overbite. A severe overbite can affect the health of your gums, jawbones, and teeth if left untreated. Here’s what experts have to say about severe overbite and the potential role of invisible aligners in resolving it.
What Is Severe Overbite?
Helen Choi, DDS, an orthodontist at Tend in New York, tells WebMD Connect to Care that a severe overbite is when you don’t see much of your lower front teeth when you close your jaws. Occasionally, with an overbite, you may not see your lower front teeth at all, according to Choi.
“Sometimes, [this] is also called a deep impinging bite, as your lower front teeth are impinging gum on the backside of upper front teeth,” Choi says.
According to Cleveland Clinic, an overbite that's left uncorrected could result in the following issues:
- Gum infections
- Breathing problems
- Discomfort during chewing
- Pain in the jaws
- Issues with speech
“Overbites may cause bone damage, since the lower teeth push up on the gums and bone," Mahnaz Rashti, DDS, a periodontist in Beverly Hills, tells WebMD Connect to Care. "This can lead to gum recession, which is basically when a tooth's root is exposed due to a receding gum line.”
Invisible Aligners and Severe Overbite
In some cases, a severe overbite may need serious corrective treatment, such as surgery.
“Sometimes, the only solution to a severe overbite is surgery. If the overbite is due to a skeleton issue then truly the only way to correct this is to fix the skeleton," Casey Lau, DDS, co-founder of ELIMS, tells WebMD Connect to Care. "We always give patients the option for surgery, but most of the time patients are reluctant to go through with a major surgery like that.”
Fortunately, not all cases of severe overbite require surgery. Depending on your specific situation, you may be able to fix your overbite with invisible aligners.
In some cases, “we can use clear aligners to make a severe overbite better and acceptable. And then we treat the patient the rest of the way with some other form of treatment,” Lau says.
A professional orthodontist or aligner provider will be able to use the specifics of your case to determine the best method of overbite correction for you. In fact, some direct-to-consumer aligner providers will reimburse you for the cost of diagnostic impressions if your case details indicate that aligners aren't right for you.
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