Dental Tips Blog


What is the Difference Between an Overbite and an Overjet?

Posted in Orthodontics

If you’ve thought about getting braces, you’ve probably heard terms used like crossbite, overbite, overjet, underbite, and the like. Overbites and overjets are some of the most common reasons why people seek out orthodontic care, but most don’t know which they have or what the difference between the two even are.

Overjets are when the top front teeth splay outward. They are often called “buck teeth” and may cause the lips from coming together when the mouth is closed, causing dry mouth and chapped lips. People with this condition are also highly at risk for accidental traumatic injuries, as the teeth literally stick outward and are more susceptible to bumps. An overjet may be caused by habits like extended thumb sucking, pacifier use, or tongue thrusting.

Overjets may also include teeth that are straight, but are still located further in front of the lower teeth, without biting against them when the mouth is closed. Most of the time it appears as if the person has a short lower jaw that is set further back than it should be.

Overbites occur when the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth. When the person is biting, only a small surface of the lower teeth may be seen. This causes the lower tooth to wear against the upper tooth abnormally, and may interfere with everyday use.

Thankfully orthodontic therapy can help correct these conditions and bring the jaws and teeth into proper alignment with one another. Not only does this improve aesthetics, it also minimizes the risk of other conditions and injuries. How severe is too severe? See your dentist for an initial orthodontic evaluation.

Posted on behalf of:
Park South Dentistry
30 Central Park S #13C
New York, NY 10019
(212) 355-2000

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