Overbite vs Normal Bite: Differences, Causes, and Treatment

Overbite vs Normal Bite: Differences, Causes, and Treatment

Our teeth naturally come in different alignments. There can be misalignments that refer to “Buck teeth.” They can be problematic for gums, teeth, and tongue in various activities. It can sometimes cause accidental biting, which can damage mouth tissues.

Many choose to live with them and only treat them once they find difficulty. 

Read: Let’s Explore 3 Ways To Fix Your Underbite

Illustration comparing overbite or buck teeth

However, having an overbite or a normal bite can cause issues with biting and smiling. So, it is necessary to know the significant causes and their treatment.

At Palm Valley Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, we have a team of experts who can help you treat your overbite with their expertise. Transform your smile to last a lifetime and fix what must be selected. 

What is an Overbite?

An overbite, also commonly known as buck teeth, is a misalignment issue of the teeth that occurs due to improper alignment of the upper front teeth with the lower front tooth.

It occurs when the upper front jaw sticks out your lower front teeth. A minor overbite is not noticeable and can be corrected wisely with braces or Invisalign.

But, an overbite can lead to various oral complications such as:

  • Speech problems
  • Gums diseases
  • Breathing issues
  • Tooth decay
  • Cavities
  • Jaw pain 
  • Difficulty in chewing and more

What causes an overbite?

In most cases, an overbite is hereditary and can occur due to genetic traits, including jaw shape, teeth alignment, and more.

However, there are some common causes of an overbite, such as:

  • Teeth grinding
  • Use of a pacifier in kids
  • Tongue thrusting
  • Thumb sucking
  • Nail biting 

Regardless of the cause of an overbite, the need of the hour is to diagnose it on time so it can be treated early.

If the parents know the symptoms of an overbite, it becomes easier for them to proceed with further treatment. The signs and symptoms of overbite include:

  • Jaw pain
  • Difficulty in opening and closing the mouth
  • Difficulty while eating and chewing
  • Speech issues

If you notice any of the signs, reach out to a dentist. The dentist will perform a physical exam and X-ray to better understand the overbite and teeth alignment.

Overbite vs. Normal bite:

A normal bite has a slight overbite that is not observable and has no side effects. In a normal bite, the front top teeth sit over the lower front teeth structure.

Image depicting normal occlusion, the ideal alignment of upper and lower teeth.

But, if your upper and lower jaws don’t fit together like a puzzle, that means there is some misalignment.  

A misalignment can result in an underbite or an overbite. A normal bite is what people usually have, with the upper jaw naturally overlapping the lower jaw.

On the other hand, an overbite is a dental condition where the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth with a slight difference.

Moreover, an overbite causes tension or discomfort in your jaw and face muscles. An overbite can occur for several reasons, which we will discuss here. 

What are Different Types of Overbites?

Overbites have two major subtypes: dental and skeletal. Some individuals have them in a combination of both.

Overbite Condition: Protrusion of Upper Front Teeth

Now, let’s discover the overbite types and how they are different. 

  • Skeletal overbites: A skeletal overbite occurs due to irregular jawbone development that causes the jaws and teeth to grow. 
  • Dental overbite: A dental overbite mainly occurs due to the external interruption of dental development, such as crowding, losing back teeth, or other bad oral habits. 

Both these types of overbites are treatable. Mostly, the orthodontists measure the overbite with percentages and decide the treatment depending upon the severity. 

Vector illustration of human mouth jaws, comparing bad bite conditions and healthy dental anatomy

What is Overbite vs. Overjet?

Overjet is the dental situation when a horizontal gap exists between the top front and bottom front teeth when the jaws are closed. The individuals with overjet will distinctively have overbite as well.

Moreover, an experienced orthodontist can treat them both simultaneously. A normal overbite has a minimal distance of 2 mm between the upper and lower molars. An overjet has a horizontal space of not more than 3-4 mm.

Causes of an Overbite:

A smaller lower jaw than a regular-sized jaw causes the overbite. In addition, it is a genetic issue, which unfortunately means it can’t be prevented at any cost. An overbite can also be caused by:

  • Teeth grinding.
  • Missing lower back teeth.
  • Tongue pressing. 
  • Overusing the chewing muscles.
  • Overcrowding of teeth. 
  • Thumb sucking. 
  • Missing or extra teeth in the molars.

Apart from what causes overbite, some health issues can occur if the overbite is not treated in time. It is invalid in all cases but can appear depending on its severity. 

An overbite can cause speech impediments, breathing issues, or chewing deficiencies, especially in kids. Furthermore, it can damage the other gums and teeth without you knowing.

So, one must consult with pediatric dentists in the early life stages of their kid to ensure that they have a normal bite and have no such issues. 

How to Fix Overbite? Let’s Explore 4 Options

An overbite usually doesn’t cause aesthetic issues, so people don’t take it seriously. Moreover, it mostly gets diagnosed when looking for another problem, such as crowding.

This is why the American Association of Orthodontists highly recommends that kids have their first orthodontic assessment by age seven 1

An overbite is treatable depending on the problem’s severity and whether an irregular jaw growth causes it.

Here are some options to fix an overbite that you can consider with your dentist’s opinion:

1: Orthodontic treatment

First, you need to realize that not all cases of an overbite require orthodontic treatment, such as normal overbite doesn’t need fixes. The orthodontic treatment phase may include teeth straightening with braces or Invisalign. 

2: Braces

It is a great option to treat the overbite issues. While some patients may resolve their problems with the braces alone, others might need rubber bands combined with braces to get the desired results.

The braces help shift the teeth, while the rubber band appliance aids in opening a bite by advancing the lower jaw. 

3: Invisalign

An overbite can be easily treated with an Invisalign. In this treatment, aligners are usually paired with Invisalign attachments and rubber bands. It straightens the teeth and aligns them to give you a perfect smile.

Furthermore, advanced innovations such as Invisalign with Mandibular Advancement are more effective than ever. 

4: Surgery

Overbite surgery is another addition to the fixes that are becoming increasingly common.

Multi-step orthodontic surgery involves braces and Invisalign, followed by corrective jaw surgery performed by an oral surgeon. 

Final verdict:

While it’s fun to explore your molar structures and learn more about your teeth alignments, regular bites are called so as they are typical and considered healthy.

However, if you have a bite issue affecting you, such as an aesthetic or eating difficulty, treat it as soon as possible. 


How much overbite is normal?

An average overbite size is 2-4 mm and can be treated easily with braces. 

Do I have an overbite or normal?

If you can see 50% of your lower teeth, there is a possibility that you have an overbite. 

Is it OK to have a slight overbite?

It is expected to have a slight overbite as long as it is not affecting you in any way, like eating, chewing, or eating.

Similar Posts