What is Deep Bite?
Deep bite is defined as a form of malocclusion in which the upper row of front teeth overlaps the bottom front teeth when the mouth is closed. This orthodontic concern is sometimes referred to as a closed bite or overbite. In some cases, a deep bite can affect a person’s ability to speak, breathe, and chew properly. It can also change the shape of a person’s face, causing it to appear rounder, shorter, or older in appearance.
In our office, we can correct deep bites using a variety of orthodontic treatment options. In general, correcting a deep bite typically takes anywhere from one to two years. After patients correct their deep bite many report an increase in self-confidence and a better functioning smile.
What Causes A Deep Bite?
Deep bite is the result of misalignment of the teeth and jaw, often caused by hereditary factors. More specifically, a deep bite is often the result of a small lower jaw. When the lower jaw is shorter than the upper jaw, the upper teeth appear more forward than the lower teeth. In some cases, the appearance of a deep bite can be exacerbated by damaged teeth, teeth overcrowding, missing teeth, or poor dental work.
A deep bite can also be caused by poor jaw development during the formative years. Habits such as thumb sucking, pacifier use, prolonged bottle feeding, and nail biting can contribute to a deep bite. Deep bite is a very common bite misalignment issue. It is estimated to affect about 20% of the population.
Why Is Deep Bite Treated?
Deep bite can cause a variety of issues if left untreated. Aside from the cosmetic benefits of treating a deep bite, it should also be treated to address systemic health concerns.
If left untreated deep bite can cause damage to patients’ natural tooth enamel. It may also cause mouth sores and ulcers, as well as jaw pain, headaches, and TMD. Gum disease and potential tooth loss are also common side effects of deep bite, as tooth misalignment makes it difficult to properly clean and care for one’s smile. One of the common side effects of a deep bite is teeth grinding, however, aligning your smile may reduce this.
Correcting deep bite will improve the function of patients’ bite, making it easier to speak clearly and chew. It also restores aesthetics to patients’ smiles, which commonly increased patients self-confidence. Treating deep bites minimizes the risk of potential dental concerns while also restoring function and aesthetics to patients’ smiles.
How Is A Deep Bite Treated?
Early treatment of a deep bite can reduce your risk of tooth and jaw damage. When left untreated, a deep bite can progress and lead to a wide range of oral health and dental function issues. During your visit to Flower Mound Orthodontics, Dr. Sankey can evaluate your teeth, jaw, and mouth to determine if you have a deep bite and devise a plan to fix it. He always examines your smile and discusses each option for treatment before beginning anything.
Treatment for deep bite revolves around jaw alignment and tooth placement. This often requires a comprehensive treatment plan with multiple phases. Our team at Flower Mound Orthodontics takes pride in providing conservative solutions for patients in need of orthodontic treatment. Dr. Sankey takes the time to evaluate your needs and develop a treatment plan that is right for you.
Comprehensive treatment for a deep bite may include one or more of the following:
A two-phase orthodontic treatment can address a deep bite by first using braces or other orthodontic appliances to reposition and align the teeth in the initial phase. The second phase, often after a waiting period, focuses on further fixing and maintaining the corrected bite. This approach effectively resolves deep bite problems by addressing them systematically. To learn more about how this treatment works, see Two-Phased Orthodontic Treatment.
Invisalign is an effective treatment to correct a deep bite. It works by using a series of clear, removable aligners to slowly reposition the teeth. These aligners apply controlled force to shift the upper and lower teeth into the correct bite alignment over time. Regular adjustments ensure the deep bite is corrected, resulting in improved dental function and aesthetics. To learn more about Invisalign, see Invisalign Clear Braces.
Traditional braces are a common treatment to fix a deep bite. Your orthodontist will place the metal brackets to teeth and connect them with wires. These braces apply consistent pressure on the teeth, gradually repositioning them to achieve a proper bite alignment. Your orthodontist adjusts the braces periodically to achieve the desired correction of the deep bite. To learn more about metal braces, see Types of Dental Braces.
A palatal expander is a custom made orthodontic appliance that can address a deep bite. It works by gently widening the upper jaw’s arch. By gradually increasing the space between the upper teeth, the expander will help correct the bite alignment over time. This will reduce the deep bite issue and allowing for better dental occlusion. To learn more about a palatal expander, see Orthodontic Appliances.
In general, treating deep bite is done in three main phases. The first phase of treatment is moving the upper, lower, or both sets of teeth into the supporting jawbone. Next, the side and back teeth are extended to open the bite and create space for teeth to shift. Lastly, we will shift the upper teeth backward and the bottom teeth forward to have the teeth meet properly for an optimal bite.
After deep bite is treated patients are able to care for their smiles much more effectively. Patients’ smiles are also much healthier and function better than if a deep bite is left untreated. Treating deep bites also reduces patients’ risk of teeth grinding and enamel damage.
Preventing Orthodontic Relapse
Orthodontic relapse occurs when teeth start shifting back to their original position after orthodontic treatment is complete. In many cases, after treatment is complete we give patients retainers to wear to prevent relapse. We always schedule our patients for follow-up appointments after treatment to check in on the success of their treatment. We do our best to prevent orthodontic relapse using a variety of methods in our office. In the event that relapse does occur, we catch it early and are able to correct it.
Deep Bite FAQs
Do you have further questions about deep bite and how it can be treated? Continue reading to learn more and find answers to frequently asked questions in our office.
Can you fix a deep bite with Invisalign?
Yes, Invisalign aligners can fix a deep bite. Invisalign aligners are typically used to treat minor tooth alignment issues, however, clear aligners can address a variety of bite issues if caught early and addressed in a timely manner. Invisalign is also a discrete form of treatment that helps to align teeth quickly.
What happens if a deep bite is not treated?
If a deep bite is not treated a patient’s lower teeth may become damaged. Over time the top teeth may wear down on the lower teeth. This can also cause canker sores and ulcers in a patient’s mouth. Deep bite may also make digestion difficult for some patients as their teeth are not properly aligned to chew food properly.
How do orthodontists fix deep bites?
In general, fixing a deep bite is a three-step process. The first step is to move the lower and upper teeth into their supportive bones. Then an appliance or braces is used to elongate the back teeth to open up the bite. This makes room for the front teeth to be corrected and to shift into place. Each phase of treatment typically takes a few months to complete.
How is a deep bite diagnosed?
To diagnose your deep bite, your orthodontist will do a visual exam of your teeth. You will also need dental X-rays and a bite assessment completed to get a good idea of the extent of your deep bite. Then your orthodontist can suggest the best treatment option for you.
How long will it take to fix my deep bite?
The length of your treatment will depend on the severity of your deep bite. Once your orthodontist examines your bite, does the assessment, and looks at your X-rays, he can choose the best treatment. A typical treatment for a deep bite can range from several months to a few years.
Find Treatment For A Deep Bite in Flower Mound, TX
Even though we highly suggest early intervention, a deep bite can be addressed at any age. For more information on how to treat a deep bite, visit our trusted team at Flower Mound Orthodontics. Dr. Sankey is a trusted orthodontist with a reputation of creating beautiful straight smiles in Lewisville and is dedicated to helping you improve the health of your smile. To schedule a consultation, call 972.833.8212 or request an appointment online.