If your family has a history of tooth concerns, then you may likely be searching the internet to learn about terms like the difference between overjet vs. overbite. You may wonder what are overbite teeth? Are they worse than overjet teeth? How will the doctor know between overbite vs. overjet teeth? And most importantly, how will your dentist treat overjet teeth vs. overbite?
The fact of the matter is that when an individual has any kind of health or tooth consideration, our minds will naturally jump to the worst possible answers. Unfortunately, it is human nature to assume the absolute worst when it comes to our medical concerns. However, overbite and overjet are nothing to be concerned about and in nearly all cases are readily and easily treatable by your local orthodontic office.
But this may still lead you to wonder what is an overbite and what causes it in the first place? What are the symptoms of overjet and what can be done to treat these conditions? Before we get to these questions and more, let’s take a look at what the experts of orthodontic medicine have to say on the topic.
Generally, it is assumed that an overbite or an overjet, or any other deviation from the average can contribute to poor quality of life (Fabian S et al.,2018).
It is also possible and very likely, depending on the severity of the deviation of the teeth, that orthodontic treatment is required (Fabian S et al.,2018).
Research has found that at least in children and adolescents with overjet deviations of >6 mm in comparison to the average, there are associated significant limitations in their quality of life (Fabian S et al.,2018).
What Is An Overbite? And What Causes An Overbite?
An overbite, as the name might suggest, is an overbite. It essentially means that your top teeth are overhanging your bottom teeth by a significant margin. Simply put, your teeth are not aligned properly, meaning that you are not getting the proper bite force every time you close your mouth or chew. This obviously can be a serious concern and can cause a wide variety of problems both aesthetic and medical.
But what causes an overbite in the first place? There are two different types of overbite – there’s a standard overbite and a skeletal overbite. Standard overbites can be caused either by genetics or by bad behaviors. These include things like grinding teeth, sucking thumbs, or sucking on pacifiers for too long which can all cause the mouth and the jaw structure to develop an overbite even if you are not medically predisposed to having one. However, this is good news as it means that simply adjusting behaviors if you are concerned you or your child might be at risk of an overbite could be enough to avoid this medical problem entirely. Also, even if it has developed, it may also mean that surgery or expensive orthodontic work is not necessary to correct it as it might simply be able to be corrected by non-invasive treatments.
This, unfortunately, is not the case when it comes to a skeletal overbite. A skeletal overbite means there’s an actual deformity in the jaw itself which is leading to the overbite. If the issue is serious enough it will almost certainly require oral surgery to correct the bone if a palate expander is not able to correct the issue.
What Are The Symptoms Of An Overbite?
By and large, the easiest and most readily noticeable symptom is simply that your top teeth will be overhanging your bottom teeth. This is something you are likely to notice yourself and can even cause facial issues if the overbite is severe enough leading to an unappealing aesthetic situation. However, that is not the only symptom as other symptoms can include things like biting your tongue accidentally as it does not sit safely behind both sets of teeth, biting your cheek, slurred speech, and a whole host of other less common symptoms.
What Is An Overjet? What Causes Overjet Teeth?
Overjet is pretty much the 90-degree tilt of overbite. Whereas overbite is a vertical misalignment of your teeth, overjet is horizontal. Essentially in a nutshell it means that your teeth are skewed sideways instead of being skewed forwards. Of course, this may lead individuals to wonder what can cause this in the first place? Apart from genetic causations, this can also be caused by accidents, having teeth missing from one side of your jaw leading to either top or bottom portion not set and resting correctly over time, or even by a misshapen palette or length of your arch.
What Are The Symptoms Of Overjet?
The symptoms of overjet are going to be very similar to that of overbite. Overjet symptoms will include having your teeth overhanging in the lateral direction, frequent tongue or cheek biting, and irregular wear of the teeth which can lead to premature tooth loss, although premature tooth loss can also be a cause of overbite as well. There are of course many less common symptoms and it will largely depend on the severity of your overjet. In some extreme cases, overjet can be so pronounced that it renders an individual unintelligible due to the shape of their mouth.
How To Treat An Overbite And Overjet?
Fortunately, the treatment for both overbite and overjet is nearly identical. The majority of cases of both overbite and overjet can be treated through the utilization of braces. Braces will help to pull the teeth and jaw into the correct position, leading to a straighter smile over time. If the issue was caused by misaligned teeth or missing teeth, then this treatment can be highly effective.
In some cases, this treatment will also be utilized in conjunction with teeth extraction if needed. If part of your overbite or overjet problem is caused by crowding of the teeth or there is simply not enough space for all of the teeth, then removing selected teeth to provide room for the other ones to rest and seat correctly can be a big win as it will allow you to fix multiple orthodontic problems simultaneously.
Don’t deal with overjet and overbite on your own. These problems do not go away with time but they can grow more severe. Instead, checking with your orthodontic office is the surest way of protecting your oral health and getting the smile that you deserve.
Fabian, S., Gelbrich, B., Hiemisch, A., Kiess, W., Hirsch, C., & LIFE Child study team (2018).Impact of overbite and overjet on oral health-related quality of life of children and adolescents.Einfluss von Overbite und Overjet auf die mundgesundheitsbezogeneLebensqualität (MLQ) von Kindern und Jugendlichen. Journal of orofacial orthopedics = Fortschritte der Kieferorthopadie :Organ/official journal Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Kieferorthopadie, 79(1), 29–38. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00056-017-0114-0