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What is Underbite? – Symptoms, Treatments with Dental Hygiene Tips

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An underbite is a dental condition in which the front lower teeth stick out farther than the front upper teeth. The goal of getting and keeping a beautiful smile is a good one. A mouth full of straight teeth is a great sign of how healthy you are in general.

But if you have a problem with your jaw or teeth that makes your lower teeth stick out, it could be a sign of a bigger problem with your health and well-being. If your teeth aren’t lined up right and you have an underbite or your lower jaw sticks out, you’re in luck. There are many ways to fix these problems. You can take steps to get that beautiful smile, depending on your situation.

It’s important to feel good about your smile so that you can show how happy you are. An underbite is a problem with your teeth that can hurt your health. If you don’t like how your smile looks, It’s important to feel good about your smile so that you can show how happy you are. Keep reading about underbites causes, and treatment. 

What is an Underbite?

When you have an underbite, your lower teeth stick out further than your upper teeth. It is a Class III malocclusion and is called prognathism in the medical world. It can cause pain, trouble speaking and eating, and low self-esteem. Most of the time, an underbite is caused by genes, but it can also be caused by thumb-sucking or using a pacifier as a child. 

It is important to find and treat an underbite as soon as possible to avoid long-term problems like changes in facial structure or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ). An underbite can be fixed with orthodontic devices like braces and retainers, or the jaws can be moved with surgery. With early diagnosis and treatment, an underbite can be fixed and a healthy smile can be achieved.

Types of Underbites

An underbite also called a Class III malocclusion, are a condition in which the lower jaw sticks out forward and the lower teeth overlap the upper teeth. Underbites come in two main types.

  • Skeletal  
  • Dental  

An underbite is caused by a misalignment in the bones that connect the jaws. On the other hand, an underbite is caused by teeth that aren’t lined up right. In mild cases of underbite, the lower teeth stick out a little bit more than the upper teeth. In more serious cases, though, the lower jaw can grow far beyond its normal position, causing the teeth to overlap more. Most of the time, this condition is treated with orthodontic braces or surgery to realign the teeth or bones that are out of place.

What Causes an Underbite?

Several things can change how your teeth fit together. Usually, the upper teeth are a little bit bigger than the lower ones.

Your molars, which are the large, flat teeth at the back of your mouth, should fit together. When your teeth are in the right place, you are less likely to bite your cheeks, lips, or tongue when you eat.

There are many things that could lead to someone getting an underbite. These things are:

  • Childhood Habits

Even though it may sound strange, some habits from childhood can cause a person to grow an underbite. Some of these habits are sucking on your thumbs, licking your tongue, using a bottle for too long, etc.

  • Genetics

Did you know that most underbites are passed down from parents to children? The shape and size of your teeth and jaw are partly determined by your genes. This means that you probably got your overcrowded teeth or crooked jaw from other family members. If you were born with an underbite, it is usually not possible to fix it.

  • Tumour

Even though they are rare, mouth or jawbone tumors can cause an underbite by changing the way the jaw grows or lines up.

  • Injury

When you get hurt in the face, it can hurt your jawbones. Face injuries can be fixed with surgery, but sometimes the jaws don’t heal properly, and it’s hard to get them back to how they were before. So, if you have one or more injuries to your face that affect your jaw, you are more likely to get an underbite.

Read More: Benefits of Teeth Whitening Strips

How Can Affect Your Health?

There are several ways in which an underbite can hurt your health. Not only can it be hard on your mind, but it can also change how you sleep. Underbite can also cause the following things to happen.

  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)

Your temporomandibular joint may have trouble if you have an underbite. This is the joint between your head and your jaw. When you have TMD, it may feel like you can’t move it. When you try to move it, you might hear it pop. This could hurt.

  • Chronic Bad Breath (halitosis)

If you have an underbite, bacteria can get into your mouth. This can make your breath stink.

  • Mouth Breathing

It can also make you snore a lot and breathe through your mouth.

  • Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition in which you stop breathing for short periods of time while you sleep. Because of this, you don’t sleep well. That means it can make you tired at work or school.

Do I Need Underbite Correction?

Not everyone has an underbite, and if you want to avoid serious dental problems in the future, it’s best to fix them as soon as possible. Here are some of the problems you may face if you have an underbite:

  • Having issues with chewing or biting
  • Difficulty in speaking
  • Bad Breath
  • Snoring and Sleep Apnea
  • Tooth Decay
  • Low self-esteem

Treatment

Most underbites can be fixed with regular orthodontic treatments. In some cases, you might need surgery.

Most treatments work best when they are done when a person is young or just before they turn 13. When a person is still growing, the jaw can be shaped to some degree. Underbite in adults can be fixed, but most of the time it requires surgery. Depending on how bad your underbite is, you may need surgery or braces to fix it.

  • At Home Treatment

Regularly brushing and flossing your teeth and going to the dentist for checkups and deep cleanings are both important parts of dental care. But people with an underbite or other dental problems need to take extra care of their teeth to keep them from getting worse or falling out.

You should use fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time. Brush your teeth carefully along the gumline and on the inside, outside, and back of your mouth. Make sure to floss as well as brush. At least twice a year, you should go to the dentist for check-ups and cleanings.

  • Braces

When you have a mild underbite, different types of braces can help you straighten your teeth and move your jaw into the right place. An orthodontist will look at your case and put braces on you if necessary. You might need to wear a retainer after the surgery to help keep your teeth in the new shape.

  • Facemask Therapy

Facemasks are, as the name suggests, things you put on your face. It sits on your forehead and chin. Your upper jaw and the device are both held together with elastics. The idea is to pull your upper jaw forward to realign both the upper and lower parts.

  • Tooth Extraction

If your lower teeth stick out because you have too many of them, you might be able to fix your underbite by getting the extra teeth pulled. This can be done as a one-time thing or along with other methods.

  • An Upper Jaw Expander

This could be suggested if the upper jaw is narrow as well. The upper jaw expander goes across the palate of the patient and gradually makes the jaw wider so that the lower teeth fit better with the upper teeth.

  • This Treatment Requires Commitment

Most people need to wear the facemask for 16 hours a day for about a year. It works best with kids younger than 8 years old. Teenagers can also benefit from it.

  • Elastics

The idea behind elastics therapy is the same as that behind facemask therapy. Small plates that are attached to the skull hold the elastics in place. The elastics are worn in the mouth and pull the upper jaw forward to create balance. ‌ 

  • Surgery

Most certified oral surgeons can fix underbites successfully. A common type of surgery to fix an underbite is to reshape the jaw so that the upper jaw is longer or the lower jaw is shorter.

Sometimes, wires, plates, or screws are used to keep the jawbone in the right shape. Risks of surgery include those related to general anesthesia, infections, problems with bleeding, and scarring.

  • Cosmetic Approach

In mild cases, a new method of cosmetic dentistry is used to reshape the lower teeth and then put veneers on the upper teeth. This makes it possible for the bottom teeth to close behind the top teeth and keeps them from having to be fixed or worn. “Facelift” technology doesn’t fix the problem physically, but it makes it less noticeable and makes the jaw work better.

What Issues Does an Underbite Cause?

An underbite is not just a problem because it looks bad. The American Dental Association (ADA) says that the worse this problem is, the more likely it is to cause problems with your mouth’s health, such as:

  • 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

Also, if you have a big underbite, it will hurt your confidence.

Underbite vs. Overbite

In an underbite, the lower teeth stick out in front of the upper teeth. In an overbite, the lower teeth stick out behind the upper teeth. With an overbite, the upper teeth are much farther forward than the lower teeth. Even though it can have some of the same causes as an underbite, this condition usually doesn’t need the same kind of treatment.

When Aligners are The Best Choice?

Clear aligners are great if you have an underbite that is not too complicated. All of your bottom teeth will be in the right place in 12 months or less.

All of your clear aligners for treatment you can do at home are sent to you at once. This happens after an orthodontist has looked at your teeth and made a set of clear teeth aligners for you using your dental photos, molds, and the newest mapping technology.

You will get instructions on how to use the aligners, but most people wear each one for about two weeks, 22 hours a day. When only clear aligners are used, it rarely takes more than a year to straighten your teeth.

Can Braces Fix an Underbite? 

Yes, braces or clear aligners can be a good way to treat an underbite, especially in milder cases. An orthodontist can give you a correct diagnosis and then tell you what treatment options are right for you. The recommended treatment will be directly affected by how bad the “underbite” is. This is why it is so important to see an orthodontist since a wrong diagnosis often leads to treatment that isn’t complete or doesn’t work.

Read Also More: Restoration of Dental Implants

Do Children Outgrow Underbites? 

Unfortunately, kids with underbites don’t grow out of them. Since underbites are often passed down from parents to children, it’s unlikely that the underbite will go away when the child’s adult teeth come in.

During puberty, especially during a growth spurt, the appearance of an underbite may get worse. That is, the underbite can get bigger, making the lower jaw and chin stick out more and making the profile more concave. This is why we suggest getting help as soon as possible since some cases can be stopped.

Conclusion

An underbite can be hard to deal with, but there are ways to fix it. Surgery is the most effective and permanent way to fix an underbite. However, there are other treatments that may help reduce the severity of the condition and improve the patient’s quality of life. In any case, you should talk to your doctor to figure out what the best course of action is for your needs. You can fix your underbite and feel better about your smile with the right treatment plan.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Underbite

How do they fix an underbite?

Getting braces is one of the best ways to deal with a mild underbite. But if you have a severe underbite or if your teeth are too close together, an oral surgeon can help by doing an underbite correction surgery to align your upper and lower jaws.

What causes an underbite?

An underbite can be caused by putting the thumb between the teeth, pushing the tongue against the teeth, breathing through the mouth, or using a pacifier or bottle for too long. A study from 2012 found that thumb or finger sucking and using a pacifier were linked to the development of an underbite, especially after the age of 3.

Do underbites get worse with age?

Does an underbite get worse with age? Yes, it can get worse as time goes on, especially if the problem isn’t fixed before a child’s growth spurt in their teens. After this growth spurt, the jaw stops growing, which can make an underbite look worse.

At what age do you correct an underbite?

When your child is between 7 and 10 years old, between the ages of 7 and 10, may be the best time to treat an underbite. Early corrections, like making the upper jaw wider, can give the permanent teeth a better place to grow than they would have had they not been fixed.

Is it OK to live with an underbite?

Most people can get by with a little bit of an underbite. But you should get help if you have pain in your jaw or trouble chewing. People of all ages often wear braces. There are also jaw expanders and headgear for people with underbites.

Is It genetic?

When someone has an underbite, their lower jaw is often too far forward. But this condition is usually caused by genes more than anything else. People can be born with an underbite, and their teeth’s size and position are also set by their genes.

Does underbite change your face?

If you have a big “overbite” or “underbite,” your teeth will stick out or your jaw will be out of place, which will change the way your face looks.

Can underbite affect your smile?

When you smile, a droopy smile is caused by a lower lip that sticks out. This happens when you have an underbite. People can’t move their mouths into normal smiles, which can make them feel even worse about themselves.

How can I fix my underbite without surgery?

With braces and clear teeth aligners, the teeth and jaws are slowly moved into the right place. According to the American Dental Association, both options put constant pressure on the teeth to slowly change how they fit together.

How much underbite is normal?

People of some kind are thought to make up between 5 and 10% of the population. An underbite can be caused by the lower jawbone (mandible) being too big, the upper jawbone (maxilla) being too small, or both. Sometimes the size and placement of the teeth can also be to blame.

Do braces fix underbites?

It can be fixed with braces, which is a good way to do it. Wardlaw Orthodontics sells both ceramic braces and Invisalign clear aligners. Depending on how bad your underbite is, each treatment option can fix it in a few months to a few years.

What is stage 3 chin underbite?

An underbite, also called a Class 3 malocclusion, is when the lower jaw sticks out farther than the upper jaw. This makes the lower jaw and teeth overlap the upper jaw and teeth.

Which country has the most underbites?

The number of people who get this kind of bite depends on their race. Over 15% of people of Southeast Asian descent get this kind of bite. It is hard to fix with braces, and it can lead to a lot of problems over the patient’s lifetime.

Does underbite make your lips bigger?

If you have this problem and a dentist fixes your upper and lower front teeth, for example, it may look like your upper lip is bigger.

How painful is underbite surgery?

Jaw surgery doesn’t hurt as much as you think it will. You will be given a general anesthetic so that the area doesn’t hurt during the surgery. And if you do what Dr. Hayes tells you to do to get better, you will get better with as little pain as possible.

Does underbite affect speech?

Speech problems: One of the main signs of an underbite is trouble speaking. If your teeth aren’t in the right place, it can be hard to shape your mouth the right way to say certain words, and your tongue may not move as well.

Is it worse than overbite?

In general, underbites are more dangerous than overbites, but neither should be ignored.

How rare is an underbite?

Less than 10% of the population has an underbite, but for those who do, day-to-day life and long-term activities can be hard.

Can you talk after surgery?

You may also hear noises from the joints on the right and left. Your joints need time to get used to where they are now. After surgery, it may be hard to speak clearly or be understood. This will get better over time.

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