Straight teeth and an aligned jaw contribute to the appearance of a beautiful smile; in addition, they allow the mouth to function properly so that a person can bite, chew, and speak with ease. Unfortunately, many people have malocclusion problems that affect the balance of the bite.
Two common forms of misalignment are an overbite and overjet. Dr. Joseph T. Mormino offers cosmetic dentistry treatments to improve the appearance of the smile by correcting these malocclusion problems.
Here, Dr. Mormino discusses the primary differences between an overbite vs. overjet, and explains how his Staten Island, NY patients can treat these issues to get the straight, attractive, and fully-functioning smile they desire.
Effects of an Overbite
Most people have heard the term overbite. An overbite refers to how much the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth when a person bites down. It is completely common, and even preferred, for the upper teeth to sit vertically over the lower teeth and conceal a small portion of those teeth.
However, if a patient has an excessive overbite, it can be a problem. A moderate to severe overbite can make biting and chewing difficult. It can also place excessive force on certain teeth, as they sustain pressure that should be more evenly distributed among the teeth.
An overbite increases the risk of dental damage and other oral health complications. Aside from these issues, an overbite has an obvious effect on the appearance of the smile and can make the lower teeth appear small and disproportionate compared to the upper teeth.
Effects of an Overjet
An overjet describes upper teeth that stick out further than the lower teeth. However, these teeth don’t stick out further vertically (as is the case with an overbite), but rather horizontally. This means that the upper teeth sit farther forward than the lower teeth.
As with an overbite, it is ideal to have a small degree of an overjet. However, a more severe overjet can cause complications. An overjet interferes with a patient’s bite and throws off the balance of the mouth. Tooth erosion and TMJ disorder are all potential risks of an overjet.
An overjet affects the aesthetics of the smile as well. An overjet can make the lower jaw look underdeveloped and contribute to the appearance of a weak chin.
For aesthetic and functional purposes, it is a good idea to treat an overbite or overjet. Both of these issues tend to respond well to orthodontic treatment, including traditional braces and Invisalign.
Each of these treatments uses subtle but consistent pressure to gradually shift the teeth and jaw. By the time treatment is complete, patients will benefit from straighter teeth, a stronger bite, and a better functioning smile. Dr. Mormino can discuss these treatment options in further detail with patients wishing to correct an overbite or overjet.
If your bite is off and you are interested in learning more about your dental treatment options, Dr. Joseph T. Mormino is here to help. Contact us at your earliest convenience to discuss your dental needs and find out the best way to improve the position of your teeth and jaw.