The bottom teeth are the part of the mouth that, ideally, should not be seen while talking. It should be the upper teeth that show. However, some people find that their bottom teeth show a lot when they talk. For them, it can either be a nuisance or an aesthetic disaster. This article aims to explain the root causes of why lower teeth show happens and the possible remedies.
Bottom teeth show when talking because of teeth and lip placement. Common causes include age, bite problems, small upper teeth, and the upper lip’s size and mobility. To fix these problems, orthodontic solutions are necessary.
Teeth can be a source of discomfort and pain. Most of us have probably gone through a toothache or two in our lives. But problems with teeth are more extensive than just that. Teeth are also important in facial attractiveness and aesthetics.
One problem that many people encounter is that their bottom teeth show or stick out when they are talking. Try to picture that in your head, and you can already see that it will look unattractive. And when you factor in that talking is an activity that we do every day, that problem compounds. It can be difficult and destructive to self-esteem to talk to people and not be comfortable with how your teeth look.
However, you should also realize that the smile isn’t as important as the jaw or eyes in the grand scheme of things and most likely isn’t a big deal. Even so, people will still want to fix the problem in question. The rest of this article will detail the possible reasons why the bottom teeth show when talking. There will also be suggestions on what to do about it.
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Should Teeth Show When Talking?
Ideally, teeth should show when talking, but not too much. If you look at these snippets of a woman while she is talking, you will see that the teeth are involved.
However, current aesthetics and beauty trends suggest that it should be the upper teeth that appear more often (Machado, 2014). Upper teeth showing when talking tells the viewer that the person speaking is youthful. On the contrary, the bottom teeth showing up correlates to aging and general unattractiveness.
Despite that, note that the bottom teeth will still show when making certain sounds. The manner of speaking of the person is also a factor. However, normal talking focuses on positions that expose the upper teeth, not the lower. In general, talking should show the bottom third or fourth of the central incisors. Any more than that will create a gummy smile, which is also not ideal.
Try to look in the mirror and experiment with talking. If you notice that your upper teeth barely show, but your lower teeth are always present when talking, you might have a problem.
Why Do My Lower Teeth Show When Talking?
There are a couple of possibilities as to why your bottom teeth show when talking. The causes range from teeth placement to your manner of speaking.
According to this study by Vig et al. (1978), aging is a factor in speaking aesthetics. The older someone is, the more likely that their bottom teeth show up when talking. As such, upper teeth visibility when talking is representative of youth.
Bite issues with teeth are widespread. Ideally, there should be at least a little bit of overbite for full functionality. Bite problems do not pertain to minor bite issues. In most people, there is a regular slight overbite. This overlap allows the two sets of teeth not to wear away your own enamel.
But, if the overbite or underbite is extreme, it could cause aesthetic issues, and not only while talking. The problem with the overbite, however, is exacerbated by speaking. For example, you may notice that people who have underbites will have a lower jaw that sticks out. In the event of speaking, this could put the upper teeth in the background. Try to imagine that if you will. Remember, the ideal appearance of talking is to have at least a portion of your upper teeth showing. It would look odd to talk without any teeth showing. And it is especially odd if you talk and only the lower set of teeth show up.
For more info on bite problems and how they impact facial aesthetics, check out this Looks Theory episode:
Small Upper Teeth
The case of only the bottom teeth showing up while speaking could also be due to small upper teeth. When the upper teeth are not adequately sized or are not correctly inclined, it could cause problems. The size of the teeth could be due to wear and tear over the years. However, it could also be because of natural predisposition.
Just like some people have big teeth, some people also have smaller teeth. It’s not that uncommon of a reason, and as a person ages, this is most likely the case.
Long Upper Lip
In some cases, the upper lip contributes to the problem. Some people have naturally long upper lips that prevent the upper set of teeth from showing up. While the issue here is with the bottom teeth, the upper teeth’ absence can make the problem worse.
Because the upper lip cannot move enough to give way to the upper teeth, the bottom set of teeth will stick out more. You will notice that when you speak, there are instances that your bottom teeth do show up. Those instances are normal. However, when paired with a lack of upper teeth, it could pose an issue.
What Should I Do About It?
First off, if you have bite problems, you have to fix your teeth. The ideal fix here is to fix your teeth first if they are the source of your problems. Many people face problems with their bottom teeth, even in their youth. As such, they wear braces to correct their bites. Braces are available in various shapes and forms. There are even invisible braces, such as the Invisalign.
Orthodontic solutions are common in youth. Young peoples’ teeth are still in their growing stages, and it is much easier to treat children or teens. However, there are tons of orthodontic solutions for adults, so don’t cross orthodontics off your list. Consult with your dental professional to see if they can offer you any solutions.
A lip lift is a procedure to help bring out the upper teeth. As you can see in the photo, the post-op image has significantly more upper teeth present than before. The idea is to make the area between the nose and the cupid’s bow shorter to accommodate and accentuate the lips.
In addition to being useful for showing the top teeth, a lip lift is also great for volumizing the lips, and, unlike lip fillers, a lip lift is quite permanent.