Published on February 11, 2022, Updated on March 23, 2022

An underbite is a dental word that refers to a protruding lower jaw. 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 invisalign aligners.

What Causes an Underbite? | Types of Underbites | What issues does an underbite cause? | How to Treat an Underbite | Overbite Vs Underbite

What Causes an Underbite?

Your teeth typically develop in such a manner that the top teeth fit over the lower teeth. The molars should be able to fit together. However, various variables contribute to the development of this illness. Listed below are a few of them:

Genetics

If a member of your family also has this problem, you are more likely to get it. Additionally, genetics determine a person’s jaw, tooth form, and size.

As a result, some teeth are born with teeth that are too close together, impacted, do not grow all of their teeth (hypodontia), are irregularly shaped, overjet, or do not fit together.

 

Childhood Habits

Certain childhood behaviors may have a role in the development of an underbite. These behaviors include the following:

  • Use of a pacifier by children over the age of three
  • Pushing of the teeth using the tongue
  • Thumb sucking (can also cause tongue thrust.)
  • Nail biting
  • Long-term bottle-feeding
  • Poor oral hygiene practices (which also causes dental plaque and tooth decay)

Injury

Serious injuries to the jawbones may result in permanent damage. Although it is often feasible to restore a fractured jawbone, even after surgical realignment, the jaws seldom fit perfectly.

Tumors

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 kind of tooth misalignment that occurs when a crossbite manifests itself 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 not only an aesthetic concern. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the more serious this issue is, the more likely it is to create oral health concerns such as the following:

  • Difficulties with speaking
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Pain in the mouth and face as a result of malocclusion.
  • Sleep apnea
  • Tooth enamel wear that is excessive
  • Chronic mouth breathing and bad breath
  • Prognathism

Additionally, when you have a prominent underbite, your confidence will suffer.

How to Treat an Underbite

It is common for the teeth to have a slight misalignment at least most of the tooth eruption of the permanent teeth has taken place. However, in certain circumstances, the underbite is severe enough that treatment results in more substantial advantages for the patient.Clinical medicine cannot treat underbite alone so, allow Belmar Orthodontics to help correct your problems of an underbite.

Below are some of those benefits:

  • Your teeth are easy to clean
  • Healthier gums as you avoid the risk of periodontitis.
  • There will be less tension on the jaws, teeth, and face muscles as a result.
  • Cut your chance of having a tooth abscess in half.
  • It decreases the chance of tooth fracture or tooth loss.
  • Reduces the likelihood of having temporomandibular joint disorder.

This issue can only be treated by having it aligned by a specialist. Correcting this problem need the assistance of an orthodontist. Dr. Timothy Hardy can correct your underbite with one of the following procedures:

Braces – It is the most often used orthodontic treatment method for underbite correction. Braces are not discrete and may be apparent while speaking or smiling. This is addressed by 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 required, orthodontists will suggest this therapy.

The reversed full facemask is an example of an orthodontic device. This item is comparable to orthodontic headgear that is worn around the head. To correct an underbite with this approach, metal bands are attached to the upper back teeth, allowing the device to gently pull the upper jaw into perfect alignment.

Upper jaw expanders are another form of dental device. The upper jaw expander is secured in place by a screw in the center. It fits over the upper jaw’s rear teeth. The purpose of the procedure is to enlarge the upper jaw, extend the dental arch, and reposition the teeth inside the bone. This, however, is dependent on the pathology of the maxilla and mandible.

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 treatment options have failed. This occurs seldom, since surgical surgery of an underbite is sometimes unnecessary.

The orthognathic surgery is an example of jaw surgery. This is a highly customized technique that entails separating your jawbones and making customized adjustments to your jaw alignment.

If you have cleft lip and palate, your cleft lip and palate may need to be repaired before your underbite is treated.

Overbite Vs Underbite

When your mouth is closed, an overbite occurs when your top teeth overlap your bottom teeth excessively. This issue is most often associated with a smaller jaw or a shorter lower jaw than an upper jaw. Read about Lingual braces.

When your mouth is closed, an underbite occurs when your lower jaw is forward of your upper jaw. When you have this disorder, you typically have a projecting chin, however this may be more muted in less severe instances.

Schedule an appointment and visit our dental clinic in Lakewood, Colorado.