Understanding Underbite: Causes, Effects and Correction Techniques
Everyone wants a beautiful smile. However, crooked or crowded teeth may prevent you from having the perfect smile. Similarly, an underbite is an orthodontic condition that may make people conscious of their appearance. In this article, we will learn more about underbite, its causes and effects, and how it can be corrected.
What Is An Underbite?
Clinically known as prognathism, an underbite occurs when the lower teeth extend farther than the upper front teeth. The severity of the underbite can vary.A mild underbite is where the upper and lower teeth almost meet and severe underbite is where the teeth don’t meet at all due to a wide gap. Orthodontists recommend underbite correction to avoid dental and health issues later in life.
Causes of Underbite
· Thumb Sucking: This habit is forceful against the roof of the mouth and front of the teeth. It pushes the bottom jaw forward.
· Tongue Thrusting: If you subconsciously push the tongue against the teeth, it can change the alignment and slowly move the jaw forward.
· Genetics: If the parents have an underbite, there is a high possibility of the child having an underbite as well.
· Injuries: Acute injury to the jaw or face could damage the jawbones. This, in turn, affects how the teeth sit in the mouth. If the jaw doesn’t heal after the injury, it can lead to an underbite.
Effects of Underbite
The negative health effects of an underbite include:
– Chronic TMJ pain, headaches and earache
– Gum diseases
– Tooth decay from an excessive wearing of tooth enamel
– Misaligned teeth
– Speech issues like lisping or slurring
– Sleep problems like snoring, sleep apnea, and night-time breathing
– Problems with biting and chewing
Underbite Correction Techniques
Let us learn how to fix underbite in children and adults:
Adjusting teeth alignment in kids is easier as compared to adults. Underbite braces will push, twist and move the teeth and jaw into better alignment. The children must wear a retainer after the braces are removed to maintain the progress.
§ Chin Caps
A chin cap is an external device that physically limits the growth of the lower jaw. It must be worn while sleeping.
§ Reverse-Pull Face Masks
A reverse-pull face mask is an external device that connects to the top row of the teeth. The mask pulls the upper teeth forward into the correct position and places inverse pressure on the lower jaw and upper face.
You can opt for metal, clear or ceramic braces to fix the underbite. If you want to fix the underbite without anyone noticing, opt for Invisalign.
§ Tooth Extraction
The orthodontist may remove teeth to decrease the pressure caused by overcrowding of teeth. This allows them to correct the alignment of the remaining teeth and jaw.
Common types of surgery to correct the underbite include shortening the lower jaw, reshaping of the jaw or lengthening the upper jaw.
If you havean underbite, visit an orthodontist to get it fixed. It will improveyour oral health as well as the overall health.
Creating perfect smiles is what Dr. Satish Pai is committed to. An orthodontist by profession, he believes that a perfect smile is a powerful part of a person’s personality. When he is not working hard on perfecting his patients’ smiles at Putnam Ortho, he is busy writing engaging articles about everything related to healthy and perfect smiles. His other passions include golf, yoga and surfing. Spending time with his family always brings a smile on his face.