Overbite: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Orthodontic Treatment

jugdeep  years old overjet and overbite before invisalign treatment

What is an Overbite? What Is it?

How To Diagnose, Treatment Methods, and More

There are many different dental conditions treatable with orthodontic care – one of the most common is an overbite. An overbite is a too-large overlap between the top teeth and the bottom teeth. A proper bite requires a small overbite – generally 1 to 2 mm – but the front teeth should fit over the bottom teeth and not leave a  between them. When the overlap is too large, this is called an excessive overbite.

Overbites often lead to orthodontic treatments. Orthodontists specialize in fixing these. They design a unique plan for each patient. This ensures teeth are straightened safely and effectively.

Orthodontic treatments for overbite focus on fixing an overbite. The goal is to straighten your teeth. These treatments are tailored to each individual's needs.

This guide will explain overbites, how they happen, and what orthodontists do to fix them. You'll learn about overbite diagnosis and treatment options. These options can help with problems like jaw pain. Each person gets a unique treatment plan based on their needs.

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Orthodontic X Ray of Overbite Patient

what is

an Overbite?

An overbite is a vertical-plane overlap between the top teeth and the bottom teeth. While a small overbite is necessary for a proper bite, it shouldn’t overlap too far: the top teeth should close over and in front of the bottom teeth.

An overlap of more than 2-3 mm is considered an excessive overbite and should be treated by a licensed experienced orthodontist.

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Different Types of Overbites

An overbite can be skeletal or dental, or sometimes a mix of both. A skeletal overbite happens when the jawbone develops in an unusual way. This causes the teeth and jaws to not grow correctly.

Dental overbites are different. They occur when the teeth are not aligned properly. Understanding the difference between "skeletal vs dental overbite" is important for treatment.

what is overbite

dental overbite  is caused by an external interruption of dental development, for instance from  crowding  or loss of back teeth or bad oral habits.

Orthodontists measure the severity of the overbite on a percentage scale based on the degree of overlap between top and bottom teeth: the overbite could be 30%, 50%, or 100%. The larger the percentage, the more severe the overbite, and more complex treatment is required.

An  impinging overbite  is considered the most severe form of overbite: this condition causes the lower teeth to touch the palate behind the upper teeth when the mouth is closed, which slowly damages the bone surrounding the upper front teeth. This can result in the loss of the upper front teeth and/or excessive trauma to the teeth.

The majority of overbites can be treated successfully with only proper orthodontic intervention: occasionally, some severe overbites may require oral surgery as well to achieve the best results, in addition to orthodontic care.

Severity of Overbites

Type of Overbite  Width of overbite (mm)  Cause  Percentage Severity  Requires Orthodontic Intervention 
Normal 1 to 3 mm Usually dental 30% Possibly
Deep 4-8 mm Dental or skeletal 50% Likely
Severe 9mm or more Dental or skeletal 100% Yes
overbite vs verjet

Overbite vs

Overjet

An  overjet  is distinct from an overbite: in an overjet, there is a horizontal gap between the top front teeth and the bottom front teeth (people sometimes call this “buck teeth”). Those with excessive overjet likely will have excessive overbite as well; an experienced orthodontist will treat both conditions at the same time.

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overbite vs crossbite

Overbite vs

Underbite/Crossbite

An underbite is the opposite of an overjet: in an underbite, the upper front teeth come down behind the bottom front teeth when the mouth is closed, rather than in front as in a healthy bite. Another term for underbite is  crossbite , which can be in the front or in the back of the teeth.

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What Causes an Overbite?

There are several reasons why overbites occur:

  • Genetics  is one cause: these overbites are called  skeletal overbites because they result from irregularities in the growth of the jawbone structure. The shape and development of bones are generally caused by particular genes inherited from your parents or relatives.
  • Overcrowding can cause an overbite, as the teeth jostle for position. Crowding can occur for a variety of reasons: loss of the back teeth from excessive wear and tear can cause the remaining teeth to the crowd, causing an overbite.
  • Sometimes  external  factors cause an overbite: these issues result in  dental overbites . Thumb-sucking or prolonged use of a pacifier can sometimes cause overbites. Bad habits like nail-biting or chewing on the ends of pencils or ponytails can also cause an overbite or overjet.

Whatever the cause of an overbite, they are a common dental condition. Finding an orthodontist with years of experience is key to successfully correcting an overbite.

Your teeth are in good hands with a licensed, experienced orthodontist who is an expert in treating overbites!

Is an Overbite Bad for Your Teeth?

If you suspect your child has an overbite, we advise you to visit your local orthodontist for an expert opinion. The AAO recommends children see an orthodontist beginning at age 7.

An untreated overbite can get worse over time, and may cause lasting damage to your teeth, bones, and jaw structure. Overbites can impact speech, cause facial pain, and make it harder to maintain good oral hygiene, resulting in gingivitis and/or periodontitis.

Having an overbite can be uncomfortable or painful. It can also make you feel self-conscious about your smile. Besides, it can harm the health of your mouth in the long term.

If not treated, an overbite can cause many issues. These include losing teeth, more crowded teeth, trouble with brushing or flossing, headaches, jaw locking, pain while eating, and gum diseases like periodontal disease.

"Invisalign and braces for overbite correction are frequently utilized methods to rectify misaligned teeth." They help move the teeth into the right position.

Braces, with metal brackets, are attached to the teeth. They slowly move the teeth over time. After braces treatment, wearing a retainer helps to keep the teeth in their new position.

Both types of braces work to align the jaw and teeth. They help improve the position of the upper jaw.

Remember: orthodontic treatment is not simply cosmetic. A healthy smile with straight teeth and a proper bite is critical for lifelong health and quality of life!  A healthy mouth is the key to a healthy body.