The way your jaw is shaped can have an impact. A normal jaw has an upper and a lower part. If the lower jaw is extended beyond the upper jaw, this is referred to as an underbite. This can be uncomfortable, potentially leading to issues with chewing, digestion, and other related issues.
What Are Underbites?
An underbite is a type of malocclusion, or a bad bite. With an underbite, the lower teeth protrude past the upper teeth. This can happen if the lower jaw is too far forward, the upper jaw is too far back, or both. Underbites can also be caused by missing teeth.
Underbites can cause several problems, including difficulty chewing and speaking. They can also lead to TMJ disorders and teeth grinding. Underbites are fairly common and can be treated with braces, surgery, or a combination of the two.
What Causes Underbites?
There are a number of different things that can cause an underbite. Sometimes, it’s simply due to genetics. If your parents or grandparents had an underbite, you’re more likely to have one, too.
Other times, an underbite can be caused by missing teeth. If there are gaps in your teeth, your other teeth may shift to try to fill those gaps. This can cause an underbite.
Underbites can also be caused by thumb sucking, which can cause the teeth to become misaligned. And finally, underbites can be caused by certain medical conditions, such as cleft palate or Pierre Robin syndrome.
How Are Underbites Treated?
Underbites can be treated with various methods, including orthodontic treatment, jaw surgery, and orthognathic surgery. Orthodontic treatment is the most common and least invasive form of treatment for underbites. Orthodontic treatment involves braces and other appliances that move the teeth and jaw into the correct position.
Jaw surgery and orthognathic surgery are more complex treatments that involve cutting and reshaping the jawbone. In some cases, a combination of orthodontic treatment and jaw surgery may be necessary to correct the underbite.
How to Prevent Underbites
1. Visit the Dentist Regularly
Regular visits to the dentist can help identify any potential problems with jaw alignment before they become serious. Early detection can help prevent an underbite from developing.
2. Avoid Thumb Sucking
Thumb sucking can cause the lower jaw to protrude, leading to an underbite. It’s important to discourage this behavior as early as possible.
3. Avoid Pacifier Use
Pacifier use can also cause the lower jaw to protrude, leading to an underbite. It’s best to avoid pacifier use after the age of 3.
4. Avoid Mouth Breathing
Mouth breathing can cause the lower jaw to protrude, leading to an underbite. It’s important to encourage your child to breathe through their nose as much as possible.
5. Eat a Balanced Diet
Eating a balanced diet can help ensure that your child’s jaw develops properly. Eating a diet that is high in calcium and other essential vitamins and minerals can help promote healthy jaw development.
Underbites are generally classified as a malocclusion due to a misalignment of the upper and lower jaws. Underbites can occur in both children and adults, and treatment for underbites is typically determined based on the severity of the underbite and the age of the patient. Depending on the severity of the underbite, treatment may involve braces, surgery, or a combination of both. Regardless of the treatment, it is important to seek professional advice from an orthodontist to ensure that the best treatment plan is chosen to correct the underbite. With the right treatment plan, underbites can be corrected with excellent results.
Schedule an appointment at Solarte Orthodontics today if you need an orthodontist in Manassas, VA! We have helped many patients in Virginia achieve a healthier, straighter, and more attractive smile. Request your free consultation today!