There are a few unpreventable dental issues that are caused by genetics, and an underbite is one of those problems. However, just because it can’t be prevented doesn’t mean that it can’t be treated! Continue reading to learn more about what an underbite is and a few methods of how it can be corrected.
What Is An Underbite
An underbite occurs when the lower jaw extends farther out that the upper jaw, resulting in an overly pronounced lower jaw. Underbites affect less than 10 percent of the population but can make daily tasks difficult for those people.
An underbite can affect a person’s appearance, speech, smile, chewing ability, and jaw pain. Because underbites aren’t very common, it makes them more noticeable, and a protruding chin can make someone self-conscious. The top and bottom teeth need to align to make certain sounds, so when they don’t line up, enunciating letters like “f” and “s” can be difficult. Chewing can also be difficult when teeth are misaligned, and people with very severe underbites are actually at an increased risk of choking as they can’t properly chew their food. An underbite is accompanied with jaw pain, as your jaw will always work to try to align the teeth. If that doesn’t happen, it can result in pressure that causes headaches and jaw pain.
How To Correct An Underbite
While those who have an underbite may need surgery, there are plenty of other options that your dentist will attempt first. Early, non-surgical intervention will always be recommended first, and the earlier an underbite is addressed, the more successful treatment will be.
An upper jaw expander is one correction method that places a Palatal Expander on the roof of the mouth. The expander is widened each night as treatment progresses, and over time, the size of the dental arch increases and the upper and lower jaws align.
A reverse pull face mark resembles headgear that people with braces may wear. It wraps around the head and attaches to metal bands on the back of the upper teeth, and pulls the upper jaw forward to be in line with the lower jaw. Be sure to talk with your dentist about the best treatment method for your underbite!
Keep Your Smile Healthy with Affinity
Affinity Dental, located in Catonsville, MD, has six dentists and provides a variety of services from pediatric dentistry to orthodontics. Affinity Dental is capable of meeting all your needs. With 170 combined years of treating a variety of dental needs, Affinity is committed to providing quality dental care. To get your teeth back into good health and make your smile bright, call us at 410-719-7900 or contact us online. For other useful tips on dental care follow us on Facebook and Twitter.