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Updated on December 16, 2022
3 min read

Deep Overbite

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What is a Deep Bite (Deep Overbite)?

A deep bite is also called a deep overbite, excessive overbite, or closed bite. It is a malocclusion where the upper front teeth excessively overlap the lower front teeth when the mouth is closed.

This can cause the lower front teeth to bite into the gum tissue or palate behind the upper front teeth. A deep bite can sometimes also be an esthetic concern. It may also indicate that there are other issues to address.

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What Causes a Deep Bite?

A deep bite occurs due to many reasons. This includes:

How is a Deep Bite Treated?

Treatment for a deep bite usually requires going to an orthodontist. Extreme cases often require at least two years of treatment and maintenance afterward.

Other factors that affect the length and kind of treatment plan include:

  • Age
  • Degree of malocclusion (teeth misalignment)
  • Esthetic goals
  • Presence of other dental concerns

Traditional Braces and Clear Aligners

A deep bite is often treated with braces or clear aligners like Invisalign. Orthodontists will examine your teeth to determine whether the front or back teeth are causing the overbite.

Traditional braces and clear aligners can provide enough force to move the problem teeth slowly. By repositioning the teeth into the correct position, your dentist creates enough height in your lower teeth to improve the overbite.

Myofunctional Appliances

Some orthodontists will choose to treat deep bites with myofunctional appliances. These orthodontic tools take advantage of the force your jaw and mouth muscles produce to change your teeth’s placement.

This type of treatment is most commonly prescribed for children with deep bites. The treatment combines children’s growth potential and the appliances to influence the growth of their lower jaw bones (mandible).

Dental Implants

When deep bites are caused by tooth damage or loss, people may need additional dental work, like implants. Losing teeth can lessen the height of your lower arch, causing a deep bite.

A dental implant will restore the height of your lower arch. It can also support proper jaw alignment.

Jaw Surgery

If not treated early, a deep overbite worsens over time and may need jaw surgery to correct. Teeth wear down with clenching and grinding, making the overbite more pronounced and noticeable.

A misaligned jaw also causes some deep bites. This cannot be corrected with braces alone, so your orthodontist may suggest surgery to correct the alignment.

We recommend at-home clear aligners if you have mild teeth misalignment. View our top recommendations.

Deep Bite Complications

A deep overbite is usually an esthetic problem, as some people are embarrassed about their smile. However, it can also cause various dental problems. 

An untreated, deep overbite can lead to the following complications:

  • Excessive wear and damage to the teeth
  • Damage to the gum and soft tissue around the upper teeth
  • Problems with biting and chewing food
  • Headaches and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ or TMD)
  • Painful sores or ulcers 
  • Loss of tooth structure
  • Tooth decay and loss
  • Gum disease due to difficulty brushing and flossing 

Summary

A deep bite is when the upper front teeth excessively overlap with the lower front teeth. It’s usually caused by teeth misalignment but can also occur due to tooth loss or jaw misalignment.

The most common treatment for this dental condition is traditional braces or clear aligners. Dentists may also recommend jaw surgery in certain cases. 

A deep bite should always be corrected if possible. Aside from the treatment’s esthetic benefits, it can also prevent other oral conditions, including:

  • Mouth sores or ulcers
  • Gum irritation
  • Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ or TMD)
  • Tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss

What’s Next?

The most popular at-home clear aligner kits can be found right here:

Learn about the different brands and what they offer.

Last updated on December 16, 2022
7 Sources Cited
Last updated on December 16, 2022
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. Daokar, Suchita & Agrawal, Gauri. “Deep Bite Its Etiology, Diagnosis and Management: A Review.” Journal of Orthodontics & Endodontics, 2016.
  2. Overbite.” Invisalign.
  3. Van't et al. “Occlusal wear and occlusal condition in a convenience sample of young adults.” J Dent, 2015.
  4. Beddis et al. “The restorative management of the deep overbite.” Br Dent J, 2014.
  5. Ghafari et al. “Deep bite: Treatment options and challenges.” Seminars in Orthodontics, 2013.
  6. Millett et al. “Orthodontic treatment for deep bite and retroclined upper front teeth in children.” Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2018.
  7. Myofunctional appliances.” Mustansiriya University.
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