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Is An Overbite Normal?

By Kaelyn Johnson, MPH, RD
Have you been wondering if an overbite is normal? We consulted experts to find out how common an overbite is and when it can be a cause for concern.

Being told that you have any condition can be worrying, especially when it’s a dental issue. If you’ve recently been told that you have an overbite, you may have multiple questions. One of them being, is an overbite normal? According to the experts, an overbite is one of several common bite issues that many people experience. 

What Is an Overbite?

An overbite is when the upper front teeth significantly overlap the lower front teeth while the jaw is closed, according to the American Association of Orthodontists.The opposite of an overbite is an underbite, which happens when your lower front teeth sit too far in front of your upper ones while your mouth is closed. 

Oleg Drut, DDS, tells WebMD Connect to Care that, in some cases of overbite, an abnormality in the jaw shape and size can cause either too little or too much room in the mouth. Treatment options for an overbitedepending on its severity and causecan include invisible aligners, braces, teeth straightening surgery, and orthodontic appliances.

How Common Are Overbites?

In an ideal world, your upper and lower teeth would be perfectly aligned, meaning that you would not suffer from anyteeth misalignment issues. But when overbites do occur, you may wonder if your situation is normal or something to be concerned about. An overbite is one of several common bite issues that people experience. 

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, other common bite problems in both children and adults include:

  • Deep bite: Also known as a severe overbite, this occurs when the upper front teeth cover the bottom teeth too much.
  • Crossbite: The upper teeth fit inside of the lower teeth which can be caused by misaligned teeth or the jaw itself.
  • Underbite: The lower jaw/teeth naturally rest in front of the upper jaw/teeth.
  • Open bite: Occurs when the back teeth are touching and the upper and lower front teeth do not overlap (anterior), or occurs when the front teeth touch but the back teeth do not (posterior).

“Having an overbite is normal and ideal when the top teeth overlap the bottom teeth by 10-20%,” Kevin Walker, DDS, tells WebMD Connect to Care. According to Walker, there is cause for concern if your bite extends beyond this normal overbite range and does not allow your upper and lower teeth to touch at all. This is called adeep bite or open bite. In this scenario, seeing an orthodontist for treatment is recommended. 

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