Overbite and overjet are terms used to describe the way the upper jaw interacts with the lower jaw during biting or chewing. Overbite refers to the amount of overlap between the teeth, while overjet refers to the distance of the back teeth from the front teeth. Both of these conditions can be considered normal, but an abnormal overbite or overjet can cause problems with chewing and even breathing. Here we’ll explore how to know whether you have a normal overjet vs overbite, how to improve poor alignment, and what to do if you think you have an normal overbite or overjet.

What is overbite?

Many patients believe that overbite means you have overlapping front teeth. It doesn’t mean that, though—it just means your upper jaw is positioned farther forward than it should be when compared to your lower jaw. What exactly causes an overbite? Some experts say it has to do with hormone exposure during fetal development, while others argue that genetics or environmental factors play a role. It’s also worth noting that studies show females are more likely to have an overbite than males.

How are they different from each other?

It’s confusing to many people that we use different terms for overbite and overjet. While they’re both commonly referred to as overbites, they are actually very different things. The main difference between overjet and overbite is in relation to teeth alignment. Because of how our jaws align with each other, when our upper teeth overlap our lower teeth—regardless of whether it is one tooth or several—it’s referred to as an overbite. While an overjet refers to a condition where your lower jaw extends past your upper jaw (in relation to dental anatomy), thus providing more room for your tongue to maneuver, making it easier for you speak clearly.

What is overjealousy (or why do people get jealous of my teeth)?

The bottom row of teeth should come into contact with each other. When it doesn’t, an overbite occurs when your lower jaw is too small for your teeth (resulting in crowding or crooked teeth) or an overjet occurs when your upper jaw is too big for your bite (resulting in an open bite). The latter can be corrected with braces. However, there are no treatment options available to reduce an overbite that’s already developed; it’s a congenital condition. Luckily, most people are born with normal overbite – less than 10% have excessive ones. The problem begins when you start eating solid foods at six months old (or later), which places much more pressure on your jaws than breastfeeding alone does.

I have an open bite. Can I do anything about it?

Both overbite and overjet are types of malocclusion, but overjet is also a kind of malocclusion. If you want to know if you have an open bite or a normal overbite, then all you need to do is perform a simple check. First, smile normally so that your teeth touch together. Now open your mouth very slightly by pushing on your jaw with your index finger. If there’s more than just a small amount of extra space between your upper incisors (biting surfaces) at rest, then it means that you have an open bite.

I have a narrow jaw. Can I fix it or make it wider?

Yes, you can make your jaw wider. But before we dive into treatment methods, let’s first tackle a common misconception: overbite vs overjet. The terms overbite and overjet both refer to an alignment issue where one side of your upper jaw (maxilla) overlaps or is more prominent than another side. Both conditions are characterized by excess space between some of your front teeth. However, they differ in that someone with an overbites has their problem on only one side of their jaw while those with an overjet have it on both sides.

How can I stop grinding my teeth at night (bruxism)?

Bruxism is one of those terms that sounds complicated but simply means grinding your teeth. If you clench or grind your teeth at night (or during the day), then you may have bruxism. Here’s what you can do about it: Make a conscious effort to stop grinding your teeth. If you wake up with sore jaws, a morning bite guard might help reduce jaw pain, especially if you are grinding your teeth during sleep. Be sure to see a dentist, who may prescribe anti-bruxism medication or an appliance that serves as a mouth guard. Discuss all options with your dentist before deciding on treatment options.