Understanding the Causes and Treatment Options for Overlapping Teeth

Do you have misaligned front teeth? If so, you’re not alone; this problem affects as many as two in three American adults.

Overlapping teeth are among the most common forms of dental misalignment, also called malocclusion. They occur when teeth on the same arch sit too forward or backward than the rest. In other cases, they cause a significant gap between the upper and lower arches with the mouth closed.

But what exactly causes this problem, and why should you even care? Most importantly, what are your treatment options?

We’ve answered those questions in this guide, so read on. 

Causes of Overlapping Teeth

Thumb or finger sucking, prolonged pacifier use (e.g., beyond five years old), and genes can cause malocclusion. It can also be due to skeletal abnormalities, such as problems with the size and shape of the face or jaw. Other causative factors are missing teeth, dental crowding, and trauma. 

Why Correcting Overlapping Teeth Matters

A dental misalignment, including overlapping teeth, can make biting and chewing difficult. It can also cause jaw pain and affect your speech and psychological well-being. Moreover, it can increase your risk of developing cavities and requiring tooth extraction.

All those consequences should be enough reason to care about and get your overlapping teeth corrected. 

Treatment for Overlapping Teeth

Some of your options for overlapping teeth are veneers, dental crowns, and orthodontic treatment for adults. Veneers and crowns are best for minor cases and if you only have one or a few misaligned teeth. For more severe malocclusions, though, your best bet may be orthodontic intervention, such as clear aligners or dental braces.

Porcelain Veneers

Veneers are thin shells made of porcelain materials fitted over the front surfaces of teeth. Dentists often use them to hide cosmetic flaws like chips, stains, and cracks. However, they can also treat minor cases of overlapping teeth.

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are cap-like covers made of porcelain, ceramic, or metal. Unlike veneers that only cover the front area of the teeth, crowns go over the entire teeth. They can correct a tooth’s looks, size, and shape to provide a more asymmetrical appearance.

Orthodontic Treatment

Your dentist may recommend clear aligners or dental braces if you have moderate to severe overlapping teeth. Both orthodontic treatments work by gradually moving the teeth to better positions. The primary difference is that aligners are removable, while traditional braces are not and are instead fixed or glued to the teeth.

If the cause of your overlapping teeth is overcrowding or a narrow jaw, your dentist may include palatal expanders in your treatment plan. These oral devices help widen the jaw, giving protruding teeth more space to move backward and into more ideal locations.

Enjoy Straighter and Healthier Teeth

Overlapping teeth are more than a cosmetic issue; they can raise your risk for tooth decay and affect your overall health and well-being. So, instead of just living with them, consider correcting them with veneers, crowns, or orthodontics.

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