Your teeth can have an impact on your overall health and well-being. A row of white, straight teeth can boost your self-esteem. However, teeth don’t always grow in straight lines. Straight teeth can take time and effort. Sometimes it is not your teeth that require straightening.

Your jaw position can also play a part. There are two parts to your jaw: the upper and lower. An underbite is when your lower jaw extends farther than the upper. It can cause discomfort and problems with digestion, chewing, and other functions.

What is Underbite?

An Underbite is when your lower teeth are longer than your upper. A misalignment usually causes it in the jaw, called a Class III malocclusion.

There are many levels of underbites. There are many levels. It might not be obvious from the outside in a mild case. However, if the jaw protrudes outwardly in severe cases, it may be obvious to others.

Underbites can cause more than just cosmetic problems. Underbites can cause serious jaw and tooth problems. It can even cause problems in extreme cases with your speech. For example, underbites can cause damage to your front teeth. These teeth are more susceptible to cracking or breaking. In addition, you might have difficulty chewing food if your jaw isn’t properly aligned.

Underbite can cause

Many factors can affect how your teeth align. For example, normal teeth develop in a way where the upper teeth are slightly higher than the lower ones. As a result, your molars, the large, flat teeth in the back of the mouth, should fit together. A proper alignment of your teeth can prevent you from biting your lips or cheeks when you eat.

An underbite can occur for many reasons. The following are some of the possible causes:

Childhood habits

An underbite, or any other type of dental misalignment, can be caused by certain childhood habits. An underbite can cause of 

  • thumb sucking
  • Pushing on the teeth with your tongue
  • pacifier use in children above age 3
  • Long-term bottle feeding beyond the infant years

Genetics

Most often, an underbite can be inherited. You are more likely to have an underbite if there is at least one member of your family. A person’s bite and tooth size are also determined by genetics.

You may have teeth too close together, impacted, or abnormally shaped. Some defects, such as a Cleft Lip or a Palate, may also be present at birth. Malocclusion can occur from any of these conditions.

Injury

Jawbone damage may result from severe injuries to the head. Broken jawbones can be repaired. However, it is possible to repair fractured jawbones. Underbite can result.

Tumors

Jawbone and mouth tumors can cause the jaws or teeth to protrude. It could lead to an underbite.

Underbite treatment

Many people don’t have perfectly aligned teeth from birth. Therefore, most people do not need treatment for slight misaligned or broken teeth. However, correcting an underbite can be a big benefit, especially severe.

It’s easier to brush your teeth. You will have a lower chance of tooth decay and gum disease. Your jaws, teeth, and facial muscles will also be less stressed. This will reduce the chances of you breaking a tooth or suffering from painful symptoms of temporomandibular disorders that are common in an underbite. There are several common treatments for underbite:

Home treatment

Healthy teeth can be achieved by regular brushing and flossing and visiting the dentist for cleanings and checkups. To prevent further decay and damage, those with an underbite must take extra care of their teeth.

It is good for your teeth if you brush them at least twice daily with fluoride toothpaste. Make sure you brush your gumline inside, back, and outside of the mouth. Brushing is not enough. For cleanings and checkups, visit your dentist at least once a year.

Medical treatment

Only medical treatment can correct an underbite or align teeth properly. However, medical treatment can at the most improve an underbite’s appearance.

Braces. Braces are a great option for mild cases of an underbite. They can straighten your teeth and realign the jaw. Braces will be applied by an orthodontist who will examine your case. To maintain the new shape, you may need to wear a retainer.

Facemask therapy

A facial mask is a device you put on your face. This is applied to your forehead and chin. These elastics would be set to your upper jaw and then to the device, and then moving your upper jaw forward to align the upper and lower parts of your jaws would be best.

It would be tough for the weak heart people to do this treatment. For approximately a year, the facemask should wear for 16 hours daily. Children aged eight and below are most likely to use it. However, it works well for teenagers.

Elastics

The principle behind elastics therapy is the same as that of facemask therapy. Mini-plates are attached to elastics and are anchored in the skull. The elastics can wear inside your mouth to balance the jaw and pull the upper jaw forward.

Surgery

Surgery is performed for severe cases. It is a procedure that can correct sleep apnea and realign your jaw to relieve pain. Most often, surgery is only done after your growth has stopped. If necessary, carefully chosen teeth can be extracted to correct an underbite in mild-to-moderate surgery cases. Orthognathic surgery is recommended for adults with a severe underbite. Jaw surgery It may be necessary to align the upper or lower jaws in optimal positions. However, it is usually very simple and low-risk. Your specialist orthodontist will refer you to maxillofacial surgery if necessary.

For toddlers and young children, underbite

The sooner an underbite can address, the better. However, parents should wait until seven years old to correct a child’s severe underbite when permanent teeth begin to emerge.

small study trusted source shows that facemasks can be used to correct lower front teeth in children. However, they will still need a permanent solution later on in life.

Early surgery is possible if your child suffers from severe underbite. Talk to your doctor and dentist to discuss the best course of action. However, surgery can be dangerous and should not be performed on children if underbite affects their ability to eat or breathe or their quality of life.

Underbite surgery

Underbite surgery is a skill that most certified oral surgeons can perform. Several common procedures can correct an underbite. These include reshaping the jaw to shorten or lengthen the upper and lower jaws. Sometimes, wires, plates, or screws can use to maintain the jawbone’s proper shape. General anesthesia, infection, and bleeding problems are all risks associated with surgery. Scarring is also possible.

The Bottom Line

An underbite is a common condition in dentistry that can impact your self-esteem and quality of life. However, an underbite can be treated and even corrected. It would be best if you visited a dentist to learn more about your treatment options and determine which is best for you.

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