Overbites (also called overjet or class II malocclusion) are very common dental issues that occur when the upper jawbone’s teeth overlap the lower jawbone’s teeth by more than the normal distance, creating an unbalanced jawline. Normal bite can be broken down into four different categories based on how severe they are, with Class I being the most mild and Class IV being the most severe. If you think you may have an overbite, there are some telltale signs that your dentist can help you identify during your next visit.
The most common signs of having an overbite
People with overbites can have several different signs to look out for, depending on how severe their overbite is. First, their jaw line may seem too long or prominent when compared to other people’s faces. Their lips may also be pushed forward or they may have an ever-so-slight bump at the center of their upper lip.
Another sign is if you notice that their lower teeth are spaced much further apart than their upper teeth—this usually means that there’s some crowding going on and that part of your jaw doesn’t fit in quite right. A final sign would be a more obvious one: a protruding chin. For example, you might notice that it sticks out farther than usual or has a bit of a point to it. All these symptoms indicate an overbite but aren’t always present in every case; sometimes only one or two will pop up while others don’t appear at all. If you think you might have an overbite, talk to your dentist about what options are available to fix it!
What does a normal bite look like, and what are some warning signs of having one?
A normal bite means that your upper and lower teeth meet evenly and close off in a clean line at both top and bottom. So what does an overbite vs normal look like? It’s when your lower jaw juts out too far from your upper, causing your teeth to overlap. This gives your lower teeth plenty of room to pierce through on top of your upper ones, leading to an ugly snarl with nowhere for food or liquid to go. Is it bad if I have an overbite? What are some warning signs?
Having an overbite is not necessarily a bad thing: after all, we evolved to use our mouths as tools for both biting off food and chewing. But while they may be natural, they can also cause health problems—and no one wants that! Not only do they make you more prone to gum disease and tooth decay, but they can also lead to speech impediments. And no one wants that either! The good news is there are ways you can tell if you have an overbite or not—and ways you can fix it before things get worse. Here’s how…
Going to the dentist to see if you have an overbite
Your dentist will likely start with an examination of your mouth to determine if you have any other dental issues that may be contributing to your overbite. With a series of x-rays, your dentist will examine any existing damage or potential problems in other areas of your mouth and jaw. As a part of an overbite vs normal consultation, they’ll also discuss what an overbite looks like in comparison to a normal bite, so you can compare these results and make sure everything checks out as it should.
How to fix your bite
First of all, do you have an overbite? Here’s how to tell: Face a mirror and open your mouth to its widest possible extent, until you can see down your throat. Are your teeth positioned vertically or horizontally with respect to each other? Vertical means you to misalignment of teeth and reduced functionality in chewing. That said, if you are willing to sacrifice proper chewing for style or appearance (i.e., gold incisors), then get ready for cosmetic dentistry! The first step is to determine what kind of overbite you have.
There are two main types: Class I & II. Class I involves having one tooth protruding out beyond another tooth on either side of your jawline—the most common type, accounting for about 60% of cases. Class II involves having one tooth protruding out beyond two teeth on either side—the rarest type, accounting for about 15% of cases. In order to fix your bite, we need to know which type you have.
A simple way to tell is by examining your front teeth: if there’s space between them when they’re touching together, then it’s a Class I; otherwise it’s a Class II. Next, we need to know whether it’s anterior or posterior. Posterior refers to when your lower jaw extends too far back behind your upper jaw; anterior refers to when it extends too far forward in front of it. So, let’s say that you’ve determined that you have an anterior overbite and that it’s a Class II… now what? Well first off, congratulations!
Things you should know before getting your teeth fixed
If you notice that your front teeth aren’t aligned when you bite together, or if you have some other abnormality in your bite that seems out of place for your face, it could be a sign of an overbite. Most people can determine whether they have an overbite by examining their own smiles. On average, one in five people has an overbite and most cases are mild.
Knowing how to tell if you have an overbite is essential; however, no one should attempt to fix it on their own before getting proper advice from a professional orthodontist. While an overbite may not seem like much of a problem at first glance, it can cause serious issues down the road. Untreated, an overbite will continue to worsen as you age and may eventually lead to misalignment in your jaw and TMJ disorders such as headaches and jaw pain.
Your dentist or orthodontist will be able to advise you about what steps you need to take next based on your individual case. What causes an overbite? The main cause of an overbite is genetics – many people are born with an underdeveloped lower jawbone (mandible) which prevents them from closing their mouth completely without pushing their top teeth forward.