What Is a Deep Bite and Why Should It Be Treated?

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There are many forms of malocclusion. You may have heard of overbites and underbites, but what about deep bites? The Journal of Dentistry of Tehran University of Medical Sciences defines a deep bite as an "excessive vertical overlapping of the mandibular incisors by the maxillary incisors in centric occlusion." Basically, that means it's an exaggerated overbite. The upper teeth protrude farther than the lower. Read on to learn more about this type of malocclusion, how it may affect your systemic health, and why orthodontics may be the best treatment.

Oral Challenges

There are a few oral challenges that accompany this type of bite. Since the teeth do not make contact with each other and rather with the mouth tissues, the teeth may cause trauma to those tissues, explains the European Journal of Orthodontics. Another issue arising from the lack of contact between the front teeth is that it puts added pressure on the back teeth during eating. The upper and lower incisors are unable to connect, so they can't help with chewing, so all the stress lies on the back ones.

Overall Health Issues

Bad bites and crowded teeth make it difficult to brush and floss effectively, and the resulting poor oral health may have an impact on overall systemic health. Poor dental and gum health have been linked to conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, dementia, diabetes and respiratory infections.

A deep bite may also affect the anatomy of the temporomandibular joint, according to a study published by IOSR Journal of Dental and Medical Sciences. The compromised movement of the jaw bone may result in loss of hearing, headaches, dizziness and a burning sensation of the throat, tongue and nose.

A patient's confidence may take a hit if they have a dramatic overbite. Bad bites often affect the shape of the face and many people may not feel confident of their smile.

Treating the Problem

Correcting bite misalignment improves the function of the patient's mouth, as well as eases daily oral hygiene routines. Braces are a common method of treating most malocclusions, though consult your dentist or orthodontist to determine the best method of treatment for you.

The best time for treatment is while a patient is young, after all the baby teeth have fallen out and all the permanent teeth have erupted. This applies to orthodontic treatment in general, although adults can undergo orthodontic care at any age with excellent results. Throughout the duration of treatment, patients can support the process by adopting healthy habits, like brushing twice daily, flossing and swishing with a mouthwash like Colgate Total Mouthwash for Gum Health, which provides 12-hour protection against bacteria that cause gingivitis.

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