Overjet teeth is a condition when the teeth of the upper jaw protrude outwards. An overjet markedly influences appearance as well as affects normal functioning such as eating, and speaking and it can also cause pain in the jaw.
Not all overjets need to affect appearance and are easily noticeable, these can be of any range varying from minor or barely noticeable to severe. In severe overjet, the malalignment of teeth can make it difficult for lips to close.
It is normal for the upper teeth to be placed slightly in front of your lower teeth at rest or when you close your mouth. A normal gap or overjet of 2 mm between the upper and lower teeth at rest is considered normal. When the upper teeth extend more than 2 mm from the lower teeth, these are considered overjet teeth.
Various causes can result in overjet teeth.
Overjet can be hereditary, that is, if your parents have an overjet, there are chances that you too can have it. The reason here is an underdeveloped lower jaw that results in protrusion of teeth of the upper jaw.
Overjet teeth can also be caused due to habits such as thumb-sucking and finger-sucking. Having a habit of tongue thrust also causes overjet teeth.
The terms overbite and overjet are often used interchangeably, however, the two conditions are not the same.
In both conditions, the upper teeth protrude over the lower teeth. In Overjet, the upper teeth protrude at an angle with the lower teeth while in an overbite, the teeth are straight, and the angle is not seen.
Orthodontists are the specialists who treat overjet teeth, however, mild cases can also be treated by general dental practitioners. In case the overjet is mild, the cases can be left untreated and treatment is not necessary.
If the overjet is a cause of concern for your appearance or causes difficulty in basic functions, then the following are the treatment options:
The treatment of overjet by dental braces involves the use of wires to correct the alignment of teeth. The alignment is corrected gradually over time with regular dental follow-ups.
Nowadays different types of braces are available ranging from fixed or removable, colored or metallic, to invisible or clear aligners.
The duration of treatment by braces depends upon the severity of the overjet and alignment of teeth. Usually, the period ranges from 6 months to 2 years.
Veneers are custom-made porcelain that covers the front surface of teeth. It is designed to mimic the teeth naturally. These are placed to hide the imperfections of teeth. These can last for about 15 to 20 years.
In dental bonding composite resin is used to modify the shape and size of teeth. This helps in reducing the protrusion of teeth. The aesthetics of resin is the same as the natural teeth and these have good strength. These can last for several years after which they can be replaced or repaired.
A dental crown is a cap-like structure that covers the affected tooth from all surfaces. These are used to correct the protrusion of teeth.
When the overjet is due to severe disparity between the jaw bones, it requires intervention from maxillofacial surgeons as well as an orthodontist. Careful treatment planning is done and involves surgeries as well as treatment by braces and aligners.