Overbite is a common dental complication that is usually easily corrected using various orthodontic procedures. When left unaddressed, it can pose risks of dental injury to the patient, along with impacts on self-esteem on social dynamics. Dentists are often called on to provide effective solutions to this condition in patients of all ages, but it is specifically important in children. In addition to the effects on a patient’s appearance, this condition can also pose serious risks to the health of their teeth.
The Causes of Protruding Teeth
Protruding teeth rarely have a direct impact on the lives of those living with them, outside of the aesthetic considerations. Eating and speaking normally can be difficult for those who have protruding teeth, but many with milder cases live with them without knowing the additional risk to their teeth. Those who have protruding teeth often have them due to one of the following factors:
- Genetics – This is the most prevalent reason for protruding teeth. While this source can’t be mitigated through behavioral changes, it can be addressed with orthodontic treatments.
- An Abnormal Number of Teeth – Everyone loses their baby teeth, but the loss of adult teeth can lead to a change in your bite. Overbites, underbites, misalignment due to overcrowding, and even misalignment due to missing teeth can all be a problem.
- Finger Sucking – This is the most common behavioral source of protruding teeth and is the result of a normal childhood habit gone awry. While sucking our thumbs or using a pacifier is normal when very young, by age three, it needs to be stopped. The pressure applied to the teeth by the sucking object can lead to the teeth jutting forward.
- Tongue Thrusting – Jaw misalignment and tongue ties can result in a behavior known as tongue thrusting. This can lead to swollen tonsils, poor swallowing habits, and the development of protruding teeth due to pressure applied by the tongue.
How Dental Injuries and Protruding Teeth Are Linked
Traumatic dental injury is a common concern in younger children who have protruding teeth. Dental Traumatology released a study that covered 50,000 patients under the age of 18. This study revealed that those with protruding teeth that are under the age of six years old experience dental trauma at a rate three times higher than that those with normal teeth. Those with protrusions over 5mm have double the risk of developing dental trauma as those with 3mm.
The long-term effects of dental protrusions and trauma affect families all over the world. Continuing research is being done in the hopes of developing new techniques that will help in the elimination of protruding teeth. Doing so will reduce the number of cases of dental trauma that are seen every year and can help patients like you improve their overall oral health.