Do you have to fix protruding teeth?

Protruding teeth are teeth that push past a person’s natural bite profile, thus causing an overbite. Usually, protruding teeth stop the lips from closing and change the shape of the mouth. Most times, overbites are fixed for aesthetic reasons. But are there any adverse effects from having protruding teeth?

Yes, apparently having an overbite causes several health issues, including digestion problems, jaw injuries and other ailments.

Jaw injuries

When the teeth protrude through the lips, they become more vulnerable to be damaged. This is especially true for people who play contact sports or who live an active, somewhat risky lifestyle.

Dr Esma Dogramaci, Senior Lecturer in Orthodontics at the University of Adelaide, said in an interview with Science Daily: “Traumatic dental injuries have been identified as the fifth most prevalent disease or injury globally, and their subsequent management is costly. While the number of traumatic dental injuries have fallen over recent decades, they have significant physical, psychological and economic consequences.

She continued: “Young children up to the age of six years with teeth that stick out more than 3mm have an over three times higher chance of trauma than children without protruding teeth. Children over six years with teeth that protrude more than 5mm have over double the chance of trauma.”

Digestive distress

Teeth are an essential part of the digestion process. Food is broken down in the mouth, and from there on, mixes with saliva and other enzymes to break it down sufficiently before swallowing. Protruding front teeth can have a knock-on effect on your chewing, says Smile Align. Even though the back teeth do most of the heavy lifting, the front teeth make the initial bite. The food moves around the mouth, so all the teeth are utilised. An overbite eliminates the use of the front teeth, because the chewer will avoid pushing food to the front of the mouth to avoid the food falling out.

Speech impediments

Most notably, a deformed bite can change the way words and sounds are formed in the mouth. People who have an overbite sometimes slur, lisp or even whistle when speaking.

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