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Dentistry/overbite so bad can not touch lips together to close mouth.

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I have known my wife since we were children, and we have been married for 5 years. She has a major overbite problem and tells me it can not be corrected. I would like a professional opinion of my own. I do not know exactly how to explain the problem, but her upper teeth shoot forward out of her mouth at a 45°angle at least. Her teeth themselves are pretty lalarge, and her upper lip is tiny. She is consistently stared at in public, and children are always making fun of her. I love my wife and would like to know if there is any chance for her to be happy and feel normal.

Answer
Jeremy - Of course, I cannot be complete sure without examining her, but your wife appears to have a couple of situations that could produce the problem.  Her upper jaw is too far forward and the front teeth have dropped down.  This situation will definitely cause an inability to fully close her lips together.  I cannot be completely sure from the picture, but the spread of the upper front teeth usually indicates a tongue thrust.  This could be with talking, but probably every time she swallows, the tongue pushes from behind the upper front teeth and causing them to be pushed forward and spread out with spaces between the teeth.

The good news is that your wife's situation is definitely reversible and be corrected.  This correction will involve some orthodontics from a knowledgeable orthodontist, but more so to correct this problem, she will need some surgery to correct the extra and misplaced growth of the upper jaw and pushing backwards of the lower jaw and teeth.  This requires that she be examined by a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

If you wish to find a skilled and knowledgeable surgeon, who should first be seen and recommend an orthodontist to work with, get back to me, tell me where in Florida you live and I will send you names of appropriate surgeons to evaluate you wife.

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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired

Expertise

I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon and I am available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.

Experience

Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicine for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor and State University School of Dentistry.

Organizations
American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Education/Credentials
BA -University of Connecticut DMD - University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine

Awards and Honors
National Honor Society (OKU), Philadelphia County Dental Society, Mosby Book Award, Oral Surgery Honors, Summa Cum Laude

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