Posted on Jan 22, 2021

Brit Phillips, DDS

What is an overbite?

An overbite is where your upper front teeth overlap your lower front teeth vertically. Most people have a slight overbite.

Severe overbites (also known as deep bites) are often less desirable and can sometimes affect the health and appearance of your smile:

A pronounced overbite can cause the chin to recede, creating a shorter, rounder face shape
The upper teeth may appear overly long and prominent
If you’re biting onto your soft tissues, this could cause gum recession, which can eventually lead to gum disease and even tooth loss
Similarly, if you’re biting onto other teeth with excess force, this could erode or fracture your enamel (the hard layer that protects your teeth)
If your teeth don’t bite together correctly, you might struggle to chew food efficiently
Significant overbites can make it difficult to pronounce certain sounds
If your front teeth also protrude, you may be more at risk of accidental injury (particularly if you enjoy contact sports)
Sometimes, a misaligned jaw can cause chronic pain, affecting your ability to enjoy a good night’s sleep, among other things

It’s important not to confuse an overbite with an overjet. An overjet is where the upper front teeth protrude horizontally past the lower teeth. It’s possible to have both an overbite and overjet.
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