Can an Overbite Cause Snoring? How to Address It?

Last updated: September 25th, 2023


Can an Overbite Cause Snoring?

Snoring is a real issue for many people, so trying to understand what causes it is an important step in getting help and improving your quality of life. As it turns out, there are several factors that might be causing snoring, including things such as carrying excess weight, old age, drug and alcohol use, sinus issues, poor muscle tone in the throat, enlarged uvula or tonsils, and even an excessive overbite.

What is an Overbite and How Does it Relate to Snoring?

An overbite happens when the upper teeth overlap the lower too much. In most cases, having a slight overbite isn't a problem, and it's even necessary for proper chewing. However, an excessive overbite (known as malocclusion) can cause bigger issues, including snoring. Excessive overbite usually happens when the upper incisors cover the lower incisors by more than half their length - usually about 2-3 mm of overlap. In cases like this, orthodontic treatment or surgery may be necessary to correct the problem.

The Relationship Between an Overbite and Snoring

So, how can an overbite cause snoring? When an excessive overbite is present, the lower jaw is pushed too far back, which can cause an obstruction of the airway. As air rushes past the obstructed area, throat tissues can vibrate against each other and create the sounds of snoring. In some cases, the airway can be closed off entirely and result in an apneic event. In addition, factors like being overweight, aging, and alcohol or sedative use may contribute to snoring in people with an excessive overbite as well.

What Can I Do About an Excessive Overbite?

Most of the time, an excessive overbite can be dealt with by using braces. While this process may take longer and be more uncomfortable, it can still lead to the same result as surgery. In some cases, a combination of both surgery and braces may be necessary to correct a severe overbite. Overbite surgery involves completely separating the lower jaw and moving it forward several millimeters. A series of plates and screws are used to hold the jaw together as it heals, making the recovery process quite painful and often accompanied by bruising, swelling, and difficulty chewing or even blow your nose. Surgery should only be considered a last resort due to the long recovery process.


In conclusion, snoring should always be taken seriously, and identifying the root cause of the issue can help determine the best cure. An overbite may be at fault if snoring is a big problem, and orthodontic treatment or braces may be able to help. However, other lifestyle changes may also be necessary to reduce or even overcome snoring. Working with a doctor or sleep specialist can help you make sense of your snoring issue and determine the best way to address it.

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