A deep bite describes an excessive vertical overlapping between the upper and lower front teeth.
Often the lower teeth are aligned in a ‘bell-shape’ curve, where the lower front teeth rise up much higher than the lower back teeth and sometimes it is so pronounced that the top edges of the lower teeth actually bite into the gum tissue in the roof of the mouth, potentially stripping the gums from the back of the top teeth.
Deepbite may be an inherited feature. The patterns of jaw development and tooth misalignment are common inherited traits that could result in a deep bite.
Small lower jaw
When the lower jaw is shorter than the upper jaw, the upper teeth are further “forward” and the lower teeth continue to grow until they hit the back of the upper teeth or the roof of the mouth. Additionally, as the lower front teeth grow up under the top ones, they are often crowded and poorly aligned.
When the lower front teeth are biting tightly against the upper front teeth, the constant friction between the upper and lower front teeth can result in faster toothwear. Overtime, the worn lower front teeth can become significantly shorter, and may require restorative procedures to restore the lost structures.
Trauma to the gums
If the lower front teeth are biting against the gum behind the upper front teeth, the gum tissues may develop painful ulcers or swelling. In some individuals, this traumatic bite can lead to stripping of the gum behind the upper front teeth.
The treatment of deep bite depends on the nature of the problem.
In most cases, deep bite can be treated as part of the orthodontic treatment. To reduce the deep bite, the upper and lower front teeth can be moved further into their supporting bones. Additionally, the back teeth can be elongated to reduce the deep bite.
In severe cases, a combination of orthodontic treatment with jaw surgery may be required to address the underlying skeletal problem.
Are you suffering from this condition? See one of our specialist orthodontists for an assessment.