What is an Overjet?


Everything You Need to Know About Overjet

Our mouths are home to various structures, including teeth and jaws. Teeth play a vital role in chewing food and speaking clearly. They are anchored in the jawbone by roots and surrounded by gums.

The alignment of our teeth and jaws is essential for proper function and appearance. This alignment ensures that our bite—the way our upper and lower teeth come together—is functioning properly. Any deviation from this alignment can lead to dental issues, one of which is overjet.

Here, we will tell you all about the overjet, including its causes, signs, and symptoms. We will also inform you about the diagnosis and available treatment options. Finally, we will talk about preventative actions to help you reduce the risk of overjet for you and your children. At Golden Mile Dentistry, the top-rated dentist in Scarborough provides exceptional overjet treatment to ensure your smile is both beautiful and healthy.

What is Overjet?

Overjet is a common dental problem related to the alignment of the upper and lower jaw. In other words, it is the horizontal gap between your upper front teeth and lower front teeth when your mouth is closed. The severity and type of overjet can vary among different age groups, but it can happen to both children and adults.

what is an overjet

What is the difference between overjet and overbite?

People often confuse overjet with overbite, but they are actually different. Overjet refers to how much our front teeth stick out horizontally, while overbite is about how much our upper front teeth cover our lower front teeth vertically. Overjet affects our smile’s appearance. It may make us feel shy or less confident. It can also make chewing and talking feel awkward, as food may get stuck between our teeth more easily. Overbite, on the other hand, can cause problems with biting into food and may even affect our jaw alignment. Yet, both conditions can lead to dental issues like cavities and gum problems if we don’t seek early treatment.

Causes of Overjet

Overjet can be easily detected and treated early on if you pay attention to its different signs and symptoms. Knowing why and how overjet happens can help you prevent it. Let’s look at the main reasons:

  1. Genetic Factors: Our genes influence how our jaws and teeth grow. Sometimes, we inherit traits from our parents or other family members that affect how our teeth line up. For instance, if someone in the family has big front teeth that stick out, there’s a chance that their children may inherit the same trait. These family patterns can lead to the development of overjet.
  2. Childhood Habits: Certain habits in childhood, like thumb sucking, using a pacifier, and prolonged bottle feeding, can affect how our jaws develop. When children do these habits for a long time, it can push on their teeth and change how they line up. For example, sucking on a thumb or pacifier can make the upper front teeth stick out more, leading to a bigger overjet. It’s crucial to address these habits early to prevent potential dental issues down the road.
  3. Skeletal Factors: Sometimes, skeletal factors can affect overjet. This means that the structure of our jawbones can make overjet worse. For example, if the upper and lower jaws are not balanced, it can lead to overjet. Conditions like mandibular prognathism (where the lower jaw sticks out) or maxillary deficiency (where the upper jaw doesn’t grow enough) can also cause overjet. These factors change how our teeth fit together and we might need a dental specialist to fix them.

Golden Mile Dentistry in Scarborough offers a comprehensive range of dental services, including Invisalign, root canal treatment, dental implants, dental veneers, teeth whitening, dental fillings, dental crowns, wisdom tooth extraction, gum graft treatment, dental bonding, dentures, sedation dentistry, pediatric dentistry, and tooth restoration. Each service is provided with the highest quality of care by the best dentist in Scarborough, ensuring that all your dental needs are met with excellence and precision.

The Impact of Overjet on Dental Health

Overjet can be the main culprit for several dental issues, risking your oral health. Here are the most important ones:

  • Biting and Chewing Challenges: Overjet affects how you bite and chew food. Because the teeth don’t align properly, biting into food evenly becomes difficult. This can lead to uneven wear on the teeth and make chewing certain foods challenging.
  • Risk of Dental Injuries: Another concern is the increased risk of dental injuries. When the upper front teeth stick out, they’re more likely to get damaged in accidents or falls. Even small impacts can chip or break these teeth.
  • Speech and Smile Effects: Overjet can affect speech and how your smile looks. It may change how you pronounce certain sounds and make you feel self-conscious about your smile’s appearance.
  • TMJ Issues Associated with Overjet: Severe overjet can cause problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), leading to jaw pain and restricted movement. However, addressing overjet through treatment can help improve these issues by aligning the bite properly.

nvisalign is used to effectively treat overjets, providing patients with a discreet and comfortable orthodontic solution.

Read More: Invisalign in Scarborough

causes of overjet

Diagnosis and Evaluation of Overjet

Dentists diagnose overjet by visually inspecting your teeth and using dental X-rays to measure the horizontal gap between your upper and lower front teeth. This helps them understand why the overjet is happening and assess its effects on your dental health. They also determine the severity of the overjet to see if it’s causing any problems with biting or affecting the appearance of your teeth. This comprehensive evaluation guides the dentist in planning the most suitable treatment to correct the overjet and ensure the long-term health of your teeth and mouth.

Treatment Options For Overjet

Treating overjet involves different approaches depending on its severity. Let’s explore the three main options:

  1. Orthodontic Treatment: Dentists commonly use braces and other orthodontic appliances to correct overjet. These appliances gradually move the teeth into the correct position and reduce the overjet. They effectively and gradually improve the alignment of your teeth.
  2. Surgical Intervention: In severe cases of overjet, surgeons may need to perform orthognathic surgery. Orthognathic surgery is a procedure that involves repositioning the jaws to correct the alignment of the teeth. This surgical intervention can be highly effective in addressing significant overjet issues.
  3. Non-surgical Approaches: Dentists may consider non-surgical approaches for mild to moderate cases of overjet. Removable appliances and functional appliances are examples of non-surgical treatments that can help adjust the position of the teeth and reduce overjet. These approaches are often suitable for less severe cases and can be effective in achieving the desired results.

Read More: Orthodontics in Scarborough

dental consultation in Scarborough

Golden Mile Dental


Prevention of Overjet

Preventing overjet is much easier and better than dealing with it later. Let’s explore simple steps to keep your teeth healthy and avoid the need for treatment.

Early Intervention: Addressing childhood habits like thumb sucking or pacifier use early on is crucial in preventing overjet. These habits can affect the development of the teeth and jaw and prevent overjet. Regular dental check-ups play a vital role in early detection. They allow dentists to identify and address any issues before they worsen.

  1. Orthodontic Evaluation: Dentists recommend children have an orthodontic evaluation at around 7 years old. This helps find any tooth alignment problems, including overjet. Getting treatment early is crucial to stop more issues and get the best results.
  2. Lifestyle Modifications: Avoiding habits that cause overjet, like thumb sucking or long bottle feeding, is vital. Parents should teach healthy habits and discourage bad ones to help teeth grow right. Also, keeping good oral hygiene, like brushing and flossing regularly, can prevent overjet problems and keep mouths healthy.

overjet teeth


In conclusion, we’ve covered overjet, its causes, effects, diagnosis, treatments, and ways to prevent it. Overjet is the horizontal gap between the upper and lower front teeth and can affect oral health a lot. Understanding overjet is vital for keeping your mouth healthy because it can affect how your teeth look and work and raise the risk of dental problems like cavities and gum disease. Finding overjet early by seeing your dentist regularly and getting help on time is important.

If you’re worried about overjet or notice changes in how your teeth fit together, don’t hesitate to talk to the experts at Golden Mile Dental. We can give you personalized advice and treatment options to suit your needs. Remember, dealing with overjet early can stop problems and keep your smile healthy for years. Your oral health matters, so don’t wait to get help from the pros at Golden Mile Dental.

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