Overbite vs. Overjet: Orthodontics and Malocclusion
Malocclusion problems refer to irregularities in the position of the teeth or jaw. Issues such as these can make the smile look crooked or uneven, and interfere with oral functions and oral health practices. Orthodontics addresses malocclusion problems to straighten the teeth and improve the bite.
At her orthodontics practice, Dr. Kellyn Hodges offers treatment for a comprehensive range of malocclusion problems, including overbite and overjet. Here, Dr. Hodges explains the differences between an overbite vs. overjet, and how orthodontics can correct these malocclusion problems to give her Philadelphia, PA, Bala Cynwyd, PA, and Bensalem, PA, patients the uniform smiles they desire.
What Is an Overbite?
An overbite refers to a malocclusion issue related to the vertical distance between the upper front teeth and lower front teeth. An overbite is characterized by upper teeth that extend beyond the lower front teeth. An overbite can vary in severity. In extreme cases, an individual’s lower teeth can make contact with the upper jaw when the mouth is closed. An overbite is linked to complications such as:
- Difficulty speaking
- Difficulty chewing
- Jaw pain
- Breathing issues
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
What Is An Overjet?
An overjet refers to a malocclusion issue related to the horizontal difference between the upper front teeth and the lower front teeth. An overjet is characterized by upper teeth that protrude outward. Individuals with an overjet are often referred to as having buck teeth.
An overjet can make it difficult to close the mouth and lips all the way. Individuals with an overjet tend to be more prone to oral injury because it forces the lower jaw to rest in an unnatural and unsafe position. An overjet is sometimes genetic but can also be caused by oral habits during childhood, such as thumbsucking, prolonged use of a pacifier or bottle, or tongue thrusting.
Overbites generally respond well to orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic treatment provides subtle and consistent pressure that encourages movement of the teeth and jaw. Several orthodontic techniques may be effective on an overbite, including:
- Traditional braces
- Growth modification devices
- Jaw surgery
The treatment that is right for each patient depends on their age, the severity of the overbite, and their personal preferences.
An overjet can also be treated with orthodontics. Most overjets respond to traditional braces or Invisalign. Cosmetic dentistry treatments can also address an overjet. Treatments such as porcelain veneers and dental crowns enhance the size and shape of the teeth to provide patients with a more uniform-looking smile.
Do Orthodontic Treatments Work on Adults?
Early orthodontic treatment can prevent an overbite or overjet or correct malocclusion problems before they get too severe. While early intervention is ideal, adults should not be discouraged from seeking orthodontic treatment. Orthodontics effectively treat malocclusion problems in adults to give them the straight, even teeth they have always desired.
An overbite or overjet can detract from the beauty of your smile and compromise oral functions. To find out how orthodontics can treat malocclusion problems and correct the position of the teeth and jaw, contact our orthodontics practice online or call (610) 617-0700 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Kellyn Hodges.