Overlapping Teeth – Causes, Issues and Treatment

girl with an expression holding tooth brushes

Crowded or misaligned teeth often overlap each other uncomfortably. A bit of overlapping is normal and may not cause any major discomfort or health issue. However, severely overlapping teeth is a type of malocclusion and needs appropriate orthodontic treatment.

If left untreated, overlapping teeth can lead to other serious oral health issues. Besides aesthetic issues like a crooked smile, overlapping teeth can make biting and chewing painful. From genetics to insufficient space within the jawbone, there are multiple causes of overlapping teeth. It’s important to know the cause as this helps determine the suitable treatment. Let’s understand the different causes, the available orthodontic treatments like dental braces, Invisalign, veneers or sculptures and the benefits of fixing overlapping teeth.

What are the Causes of Overlapping Teeth?

Experts generally classify the reasons for overlapping teeth into two categories –


Primary overlapping caused due to genetics


secondary overlapping caused by habits such as thumb sucking.

Other reasons for overlapping teeth are as mentioned below:

  • If the mouth is too small to accommodate the teeth, it results in crowding and shifting of teeth. It mostly occurs due to genetics.
  • If the upper and lower jaw aren’t of the same size, it may result in either an overbite or an underbite.
  • Sometimes, people may have extra teeth, which can put excessive pressure on their front teeth, causing them to overlap.
  • Missing teeth and certain other unusual conditions, which hinder natural teeth eruption can cause them to overlap.
  • Habits such as extensive bottle usage and thumb sucking may also lead to overlapped or misaligned teeth.
  • Poorly done dental restorations, including dental treatments such as fillings and crowns, are also known causes of overlapping teeth.
  • Oral health problems such as gingivitis or tumors in mouth and jaw often affect the structure of teeth, causing them to become misaligned.
  • Injury to the jaw may also result in teeth misalignment.
  • Sometimes, even wisdom teeth are responsible for causing overlapping teeth.

What Are the Related Dental Health Issues?

Overlapping front teeth, if left untreated, may cause the below mentioned dental health issues in the long run:

Doctor treating a person with overlapping teeth problem
  • Overlapping front teeth tend to wear out earlier as compared to straight teeth.
  • Misaligned teeth often make even simple actions such as chewing and speaking difficult.
  • Jaw pain may develop, along with headaches.
  • It may promote tooth grinding and clenching, which can lead to more dental issues.
  • Cleaning teeth becomes difficult, which may increase incidences of decay, cavities, and gum diseases.
  • Possible loss of confidence due to crooked teeth. This may prevent you from speaking and smiling openly in public.
  • In severe cases of overlapping teeth, the shape of the face may be changed, making it look abnormal.
  • Problems of speech may develop.
  • You may end up frequently biting your tongue or inner cheeks.
  • You may tend to breathe with your mouth more frequently instead of your nose.

How can you fix Overlapping Teeth?

If you are looking for solutions to fix overlapping front teeth or overlapping bottom teeth, listed below are a few widely used orthodontic treatments. Let’s take a look:

  • Teeth with braces icon


    It is one of the most effective and oldest approaches used to fix overlapping front teeth or overlapping bottom teeth. There are various types of braces available today. From traditional metal braces to lingual braces that are attached to the back of your teeth, you can take your pick depending on aesthetics, price, comfort, etc.

  • Invisalign icon


    These aligners are one of the most preferred orthodontic treatments today for fixing misaligned teeth, including overlapping teeth. They are chosen over braces because of their multiple benefits. They are a set of clear or plastic trays which are customized to fit your teeth perfectly. They are easily removable, convenient, comfortable, and almost invisible. Although Invisalign braces are a bit expensive, the advantages which they offer over braces make them a worthy investment for a perfect smile. However, they might not be ideal for correcting severe cases of overlapping.

  • Veneers incon


    Veneers are thin molds that are used to cover the front part of teeth. They are custom-made to match the shade of your natural teeth and are placed on the faulty teeth after sculpting them as required. They are used to correct a host of orthodontic issues and are slightly costly.

  • Dental sculpting icon


    Mild cases of overlapping front teeth or overlapping bottom teeth can be rectified with sculpting sometimes. A laser or drill is used by the orthodontist to reduce overlapping and give the problematic teeth appropriate space. The teeth might be weakened by this process.

Apart from these treatment options, bonding is also sometimes used to fix overlapping teeth by changing their shape. In this procedure, a hardening paste is applied to the tooth, which can be shaped as desired.

These treatments stabilize your teeth so that overlapping doesn’t advance further. Extreme cases of overlapping teeth may require the removal of one or more teeth. Surgical reshaping of the jaw with the help of wires, plates, and screws is another option in severe overlapping cases.

What Are the Benefits of Fixing Overlapping Teeth?

If you fix overlapping teeth before it turns severe, you can benefit in several ways. Some of these benefits are listed below:

  • Brushing and flossing teeth and gums become easier, which helps curtail the risk of cavities, decay, and gum diseases.
  • Excessive wear and tear of teeth are reduced.
  • It reduces the risk of teeth getting damaged in case of an accident.
  • Chewing isn’t a problem, so the associated oral and overall issues are also eliminated.
  • A straight smile helps boost your personality, and as a result, your confidence to speak and smile in public is increased.
Person with overlapping teeth problem

Even though overlapping front teeth or bottom teeth might seem like a trivial condition that can be left untreated, it shouldn’t be ignored. It may have serious repercussions on your oral as well as overall health.

If you are looking for solutions to fix overlapping teeth, get in touch with us at Brite Orthodontics today. Our team of experts is dedicated to offer you exceptional oral care for a straight and healthy smile. Call to book your appointment now.

Dr. Satish Pai, M.D.S

Dr. Satish Pai is an orthodontist and Ivy League trained dentist who has served as a faculty at Columbia University. He believes a perfect smile not only makes a person look great but feel great. As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics and a Partner at Brite Orthodontics, he is dedicated to providing the best orthodontic treatments to his patients. He also writes to educate people about everything orthodontics and the importance of correctly aligned teeth along with good oral health. In his free time, you can find him golfing, doing yoga or surfing, and spending time with his family.

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