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A deep bite is a very common form of malocclusion, a condition where the teeth do not line up properly. In this condition, the patient's lower teeth are overlapped by the upper teeth and the lower incisors come into contact with the gingival tissue in the upper arch of the jaw. For some patients, this is purely an aesthetic problem. For others, it can lead to things like damage to the roots of the upper teeth. There are several techniques that can be used to correct a deep bite.
The deep bite is a more extreme version of the overbite. Many people have an overbite to some degree or another. In many patients, the overbite is so mild that no treatment is required to correct the malocclusion unless the patient does not like the appearance of the teeth. In others, overbites can become more problematic, and a deep bite is an example of an overbite that can develop into a problem.
There are a number of reasons why the teeth can develop out of alignment. Sometimes the causes are genetic or environmental and in other cases there are no clear reasons for the teeth to have grown out of place. In the case of a deep bite, a dental exam will reveal that the upper teeth fully overlap the lower teeth and that the lower teeth rest on the upper gums. Over time, this can contribute to erosion of the gums and a number of associated health problems.
One option to correct this condition is orthodontics, such as braces and retainers. These devices are used to slowly shift the teeth into a more comfortable and even alignment. The earlier orthodontic intervention occurs, the more effective and less traumatic it will be. Correcting the teeth with braces while a child is still developing will allow the teeth and jaws to align properly as they grow, rather than correcting the problem after the fact.
In severe deep bite cases, it may be necessary to perform surgery. Surgery is considered as an option after a thorough evaluation of the patient and the situation. It is performed by a specialist on a patient who is usually put under general anesthesia. Recovery times from surgeries to correct deep bite and other malocclusions vary depending on the nature of the procedure. It is important to follow instructions from the surgeon during the healing period to reduce the risk of surgical complications, such as infections.