There are two types of malocclusion that are commonly referred to as an overbite, although technically only one them actually is. The other is called an “overjet,” and we will explain the difference between the two.
Overbite – Most people call it an overbite when the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth by an abnormal amount. That is true, although the term should only be used when measuring the vertical distance of the upper teeth versus the bottom teeth. For example, an excessive overbite might make your lower front teeth actually touch the gums behind your upper front teeth.
Overjet – When the horizontal distance between the upper teeth and lower teeth is the cause for concern, it is called an overjet. This is a problem where the upper front teeth sit far forward from the lower front teeth causing what is commonly referred to as “buck teeth.” This can be so bad that the patient literally cannot comfortably keep their lips closed together without the teeth threatening to poke out. An overjet patient is also much more at risk of dental injury than an overbite patient.
Fixing an overjet is somewhat more complicated than fixing the typical overbite. So, The American Association of Orthodontists suggests that children should be evaluated by the age of 7 to catch a potential problem early when it may be corrected more easily. If you are an adult that is seeking correction of an overjet or overbite, don’t become discouraged. Orthodontic treatment can be done successfully at any age.
Treatment for any bite correction usually involves dental appliances and may require surgery and/or tooth extraction to manipulate the teeth into proper position.
If you would like more information about treating a malocclusion, call Dr. Payam Bostani and our helpful team at Dr. Bostani's Advanced Dental. Phone: 818-973-7100. Make an appointment or come by our office in Burbank, California.