Published on February 11, 2022, Updated on March 25, 2022
A protruding lower jaw is referred to as an underbite in dentistry. This results in an extension of the lower jaw beyond the upper teeth. The degree of the underbite varies from moderate to severe. A slight underbite occurs when the lower jaw overlaps the upper jaw, whereas a severe underbite occurs when the teeth do not contact due to the gap being so large. More about hidden braces.
What Causes an Underbite?
Typically, your teeth develop such that the upper teeth fit comfortably over the lower teeth. Molars should be able to fit together. However, a person might acquire such a disease due to a variety of circumstances. Among them are the following:
You are more prone to have this ailment if you have a family member who has it as well. Additionally, genetics determine a person’s jaw, tooth form, and size.
As a result, some children are born with teeth that are too close together, impacted, do not grow all of their teeth (hypodontia), are irregularly formed, have an overjet, or have teeth that do not fit together properly.
Certain childhood behaviors may lead to the development of an underbite. These are the following habits:
- Thumb sucking (can also cause tongue thrust.)
- Nail biting
- Use of a pacifier by children older than three years
- Using the tongue to push the teeth
- Long-term bottle-feeding
- Poor oral hygiene practices (which also causes dental plaque and tooth decay)
Severe injuries to the jawbones may result in lifelong damage. While it is often feasible to restore a fractured jawbone, even after surgical realignment, the jaws frequently do not fit correctly.
Tumors in the jawbones or mouth may cause the jaws to protrude, resulting in an underbite.
Types of Underbites
There are two types of underbites.
Dental underbites are a misalignment of the teeth that develop when a crossbite arises in the front of the mouth rather than the sides. Although the teeth protrude slightly forward, the lower jaw does not protrude.
Skeletal underbites occur through a malformation of the jawbone. It is usually genetic.
What Issues Does an Underbite Cause?
An underbite is a more serious problem than a cosmetic one. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the more serious this issue is, the more oral health complications it may bring, including the following:
- Sleep apnea
- Speaking difficulties
- Difficulty chewing
- Pain in the mouth and face as a result of malocclusion.
- Tooth enamel is excessively worn
- Chronic mouth breathing and bad breath
Additionally, when you have a prominent underbite, your confidence will suffer.
How to Treat an Underbite
It is rather usual for teeth to be somewhat out of alignment once the majority of the permanent teeth have erupted. However, in other circumstances, the underbite is severe enough that treatment has a greater effect on the patient.Clinical medicine cannot treat underbite alone so, allow Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics to help correct your problems of an underbite.
Below are some of those benefits:
- Your teeth are simple to keep clean.
- Healthier gums as it avoids the risks of certain gum diseases.
- It will alleviate tension in the jaws, teeth, and face muscles.
- Reduce the risk of developing a dental abscess.
- It reduces the risk of breaking a tooth or tooth loss
- Reduces the chance of developing a temporomandibular joint disorder
The only method to correct this issue is for a specialist to align it. Correcting this problem need the assistance of an orthodontist. Dr. Namrata Hardy may correct your underbite with one of the following procedures:
Braces – It is the most often used orthodontic treatment for underbite. Dental braces are not inconspicuous and may be apparent while speaking or smiling. This issue is resolved using clear aligners.
Appliances – Certain appliances are effective in treating this problem. These are constructed to fit your mouth precisely and may sometimes be painful due to their greater visibility than braces. When necessary, orthodontists will recommend this therapy.
The upper jaw expander is a kind of dental device. The upper jaw expander is a screw-in device that fits over the upper jaw’s rear teeth. The objective is to increase the width of the upper jaw, enlarge the dental arch, and reposition the teeth inside the bone. This, however, is dependent on the pathology of the maxilla and mandible.
The reverse complete facemask is another example of an orthodontic device. This item resembles orthodontic headgear that is worn around the head. To correct an underbite with this approach, metal bands are attached to your upper back teeth, allowing the device to gently pull your upper jaw into perfect alignment.
Tooth Extraction – Extracting a tooth can relieve crowding so that biting can come together more naturally.
Surgery – This should only be used as a last resort if the orthodontist considers that all other options have failed. It occurs seldom, since surgery is often not required to correct an underbite.
Orthognathic surgery is a kind of jaw surgery. This is a highly customized technique that entails separating your jawbones and making customized adjustments to your jaw alignment. Read here about teeth alignment discreetly and getting Clear Braces.
If you have cleft lip and cleft palate surgery may be performed first before treating your underbite. See more about gaps in teeth.
Overbite Vs Underbite
When your mouth is closed, an overbite occurs when your upper teeth overlap your lower teeth excessively. This issue is often seen in individuals who have a smaller jaw or whose lower jaw is shorter than their upper jaw.
When your mouth is closed, an underbite occurs when your lower jaw lies in front of your upper jaw. When you have this issue, you typically have the appearance of a projecting chin, but this may be more muted in less severe instances. Schedule an appointment for further consultation.