A normal bite is when both the upper and lower jaws align perfectly. The upper teeth overlap the lower teeth, and the jaw functions normally. If alignment is off this causes a malocclusion or issue with your bite. With an underbite the lower jaw protrudes further out than the upper jaw.
What Can Cause an Underbite?
An underbite can be caused by a child using a pacifier or thumb sucking. Most underbites are genetic and run in families. Irregularities in jaw size and shape cannot be prevented and require professional help.
An underbite can cause issues with chewing or speech, and can even cause decay. Tooth enamel can be lost where the teeth overlap, and jaw pain is common with patients that have an underbite. We want our patients to feel confident about their smile, and we are always happy to help each patient get that smile they have always wanted.
How Can My Orthodontist Help?
Orthodontic treatment for an underbite is common. Part of our detailed consultation process is to take a detailed look at your mouth, teeth, and skeletal structure. Depending on the severity of the underbite will determine the treatment plan. We look at severity, the patient’s age, and potential cause of the underbite.
If your child shows signs of an underbite, we recommend parents bring their child in by the age of seven. Early intervention is always best, and allows our team to get in front of any underbite issues at an early age.
In many cases braces can help reposition the lower teeth. Dental extractions may also be necessary to make room. Other appliances such as expanders can be used to help correct bone development. Unfortunately, braces and appliances are typically not enough for every patient that has an underbite.
When Is Surgery Necessary?
An oral surgeon can help correct an underbite by reshaping and repositioning the jawbone. This type of surgery is called orthoganic surgery. This surgery can help to lengthen or shorten the lower jaw depending on the severity. In some cases bone may need to be added or removed. Small plates or screws are used if necessary to stabilize the bone after surgery.
Surgery is usually recommended to correct an underbite for patients that are in their late teens or adults, and their jaw bones are already fully formed.
Interested in Finding Out More?
Our goal is to provide each patient with a healthy bite that functions normally. If you are interested in finding out more about how oral surgery can help your underbite, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with us. Underbite surgery can give you confidence, and make you happier with your appearance. Our team is here to help correct your smile and get you the results you want.
To schedule your oral consultation please contact our office, and our staff will be happy to assist you!