Entrepreneurs have a lot on their plates. Low self-esteem, a lack of confidence due to something as simple as a smile, shouldn’t be one of them.
Why does your smile matter?
Studies confirm that smiling leads to a decrease in stress-induced hormones that negatively affect your physical and mental health. Smiling less, as a result of a self-conscious smile, does more harm than good.
Smiling is good for your health and a great smile is good for business. While it may seem a bit cliche, it’s even said a great smile can open doors to success.
But what is a great smile really?
One of the things people often misunderstand about cosmetic procedures is the best result isn’t perfection. A smile is all about harmony—not just your mouth itself, but how it works with all of your facial features. A “perfect” smile on one person may work in harmony like a symphony, but on another, it can fall flat.
Often, the most beautiful people have asymmetric features that counterbalance each other. Smile defects can actually create character and complement your overall image. And, function matters.
Don’t overlook functional aspects of a great smile
So, when we talk about overbite, for example, we’re more concerned about function than visual perfection. While an extreme overbite may create a cosmetic issue of concern, it can also cause other problems that could interfere with other areas of your overall dental health.
When an overbite measures too far out of the normal average (more than 2-3 mm), it causes an abnormal alignment of the upper and lower teeth when your jaws are closed (malocclusion). If this is the case, it’s time to consider improvement.
An untreated overbite can result in functional problems, including:
- Tooth damage, decay, and loss. Because misaligned teeth may be hitting in odd places, you can experience thinning enamel, which can lead to tooth decay, tooth fracture, and tooth loss.
- Gum damage and disease. If your overbite is severe enough for teeth to come into contact with the gum line, it can cause gum recession and gum disease.
- Difficulty speaking. Our front teeth play a large role in forming various words, particularly with “f” and “s” sounds. When someone has a drastic overbite, it sometimes can affect pronunciation.
- Sleep apnea. Studies show that if overbite is preventing the lower jaw from entering into a relaxed forward position when sleeping, it contributes to sleep apnea.
- Jaw pain from TMD. A misaligned jaw can result in chronic jaw pain and headaches and may contribute to the development of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD).
Maintaining a healthy smile and treating overbite
Fixing an overbite is a prime example of one way to keep your smile healthy. It’s a common and completely normal occurrence. Nearly everybody has one. But, when your overbite is too small or too large, you can easily encounter problems.
An overbite is caused by a combination of both skeletal (such as the shape of the jaw) and dental (such as the position of the teeth) alignment. When it comes to treatment in adults, the skeletal structure is fixed and an overbite is improved by adjusting the alignment of the teeth.
Here are a few proven techniques your dentist or orthodontist may suggest for a deep overbite:
- Braces and Invisalign under the direction of a dentist or orthodontist to move the teeth into a more favorable position
- Teeth removal if the teeth are excessively crowded, to create space for the rest of the mouth
- Surgery only if the overbite is excessively mal-positioned (less than 1% of cases).
Developing a better smile
You’ll find that developing a better smile starts with being comfortable smiling a lot. Resolving common dental issues, such as an overbite, can aid in the healthy pursuit of smiling more. Not to mention, you’ll be less self-conscious in social situations.
When considering whether your overbite should be corrected, think about the cosmetic and functional benefits. Your smile is unique and proactive dental health is at the core of any good smile.
Dr. Charles Sutera , DMD, FAGD, is a doctor of dental medicine, TMJ specialist, board-certified in moderate dental anesthesiology, and renowned for high profile cosmetic dental reconstructions. He is a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry and is the founder of his dental practice, Aesthetic Smile Reconstruction.
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