Both are associated with incorrect upper and lower teeth positioning relative to one another. The important thing is that it’s not just about aesthetics, it has consequences for oral health.
There’s a difference between overbite and underbite. Our upper teeth overlap the lowers ones and it’s normal to a certain extent. An overbite issue appears when upper teeth extend 4-10 mm over the lower teeth. Underbite implies the opposite teeth positioning - the lower teeth are beyond and over the upper teeth.
An underbite is usually more noticeable due to the:
At the same time, an overbite can mostly be diagnosed by a dentist, who measures the level of teeth overlap.
An overbite, also called a deep or closed bite, happens when the lower jaw is small or shorter than the upper jaw. This type of malocclusion is more common than underbite. Our upper teeth overlap the lower teeth, so slight and mild overbite issues sometimes don’t require specific treatment.
The common overbite symptoms include:
Overbite and overjet are very similar yet the difference is about the angle. Overbite implies a vertical overlap of the upper front teeth over the lower teeth. While with overjet the front upper teeth overlap the lower teeth creating a horizontal gap between them.
Sometimes only a dentist can see there’s an overbite issue. While to us the teeth and bite look normal. It happens when there’s a slight overbite, or Class 1 malocclusion, as classified scientifically. It means a normal bite with minor upper teeth overlap.
At the same time, there are cases of severe overbite. It’s related to Class 2 malocclusion and is also known as a retrognathic overbite. A severe overbite is quite noticeable due to a protruded upper jaw, and difficulties with chewing and speech. It also requires a particular treatment depending on the case.
An underbite is a kind of teeth malocclusion when the front lower teeth extend farther beyond the front upper teeth. There are cases of slight underbite and severe issues when the bulldog-like appearance is very noticeable.
Such serious underbite cases often lead to unpleasant consequences like:
A crossbite is another type of dental malocclusion. Its primary symptom is that the upper teeth are behind the bottom teeth while at rest. Crossbite is similar to an underbite, yet there’s a difference in teeth placement. Underbite affects the whole dental arch, while crossbite impacts a group of teeth.
Depending on the placement of a crossbite, there’re anterior and posterior crossbites.
Fortunately, modern orthodontics has enough options to fix an overbite, and other bite issues. So if you wonder how to get rid of an overbite, the first step is to get a proper diagnosis.
A good orthodontist will examine your teeth and jaws and make a diagnosis. Based on the level of overbite together you can decide what kind of treatment will be the best. They often take dental x-rays to see the problem precisely.
Apart from genetic jaw shape that might affect teeth alignment, there are a few overbite causes that we can control.
As was mentioned, there are several overbite treatment options available nowadays. They are applied to children and adults, depending on the severity of an overbite.
So, the most effective methods of overbite treatment include:
Severe cases of overbite require the professional treatment of an orthodontist. While an at-home treatment might improve a slight overbite situation. At least, implementing some preventing habits will help to stop the overbite from progressing.
To fix an overbite naturally, it’s crucial to get rid of the habits triggering it:
The most effective at-home options to implement to deal with an overbite:
Read: what is mewing and is mewing real?
Invisalign is a most popular brand of modern braces alternative. It comes in a form of transparent aligners that are almost invisible and more comfortable to wear than braces. Nowadays, Invisalign becomes a great tool to fix slight and moderate cases of overbite. The term of treatment with Invisalign is usually shorter than with braces, yet a bit more expensive.
Many of the happy people who got rid of an overbite share their results online. Some of them wore braces, others tried the at-home treatment. The impressive results are on their before & after photos.
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Celebrities also face bite problems. Many of them have a slight overbite and it doesn’t stand in the way of their huge smiles in front of the cameras. Sometimes teeth peculiarities become a special thing and add charm. Like Freddie Mercury’s prominent overbite smile made him so charismatic.
Read: high cheekbones vs low cheekbones
Underbite treatment appears to be more specific and necessary due to the nature of the malocclusion. It’s more than aesthetics; even mild underbite cases often cause many inconveniences and dental problems.
For the most part, an underbite is inherited. If one of your closest relatives suffers from underbite, there’s a great chance to have it too. Since jaw and tooth shape is defined by genetics, some of them result in such malocclusion as underbite.
Among other causes of underbite are:
Similarly to other malocclusion treatments, underbites can be cured with up-to-date methods. Since many people with underbite problems are scared of a long-time treatment, it’s key to know all the benefits of adequate therapy. Although the doctor tells all about the treatment options at a free consultation.
Yet it’s worth mentioning the main health advantages of underbite treatment.
The main underbite treatment options include:
The malocclusion treatment term is individual and depends on the severity of the case. Invisalign usually takes up to 1 year to see great results, if the malocclusion is moderate. While treatment with braces is a bit longer, up to 2 years. In severe cases when surgery is the option, it depends on the rehabilitation terms.
If you pick at-home treatment to deal with a slight overbite, then tongue posture exercises should become a lifetime habit. As proper tongue posture brings more than bite improvements. Doing it improves weak jawline and enhances overall facial aesthetics and health.
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