How to Treat Deep Overbites



The incisor overbite (OB) is the vertical relationship of anterior teeth, and it describes the degree of overlap of these teeth.

Normal overbite = upper incisors cover between 1/3 to ½ of labial aspect of the lower incisors when viewed horizontally from the front.

Deep overbite = Overlap of more than ½ of the lower incisor crowns

Deep OB can be present in any of the main categories of malocclusion; but is one of the main features of Class II Division 2 malocclusion.

Incisors erupt towards their full potential and they tend to do so until they meet some form of hard or soft tissue resistance.


Deep overbites result from a combination of genetic, environmental and local factors. Although they may be considered separately, many of them are interdependent.


Vertical Relationship

• Decreased lower facial height
• Low maxillary-mandibular planes angle
• Shape of the mandible
• Forward growth rotation of the mandible (orientates lower incisors more lingually)
• Downward rotation of the mandible

Antero-posterior Relationship
• Marked AP discrepancy = excessive overjet (could also be reverse OJ)
• This may mean no contact between anterior teeth which continue to erupt

• Where lower arch is very narrow (esp II Div 2s) a scissors bite situation may develop, thus producing a deepening of the bite anteriorly.


• Any abnormal behaviour or posture of the lips which prevenys teeth from occluding in their normal relationship may allow teeth to erupt beyond their normal level.
• Especially a high lower lip line, covering more than just the incisal 2-3 mm of the upper incisors.
• High circum-oral muscle activity and taut tissues
• These factors tend to retrocline incisors
• In II Div 1s, lower lip trap may procline the uppers, but tends to retrocline the lowers, and may contribute to a deep OB