Smile is the first and foremost thing people notice about you. If you are proud and happy about your smile, you’ll surely show confidence. But a lot of men and women are conscious of their smile as a result of dental difficulties. One such dilemma is the underbite. An underbite is a dental condition that could affect you emotionally and physically.
What is an Underbite?
An underbite is a dental condition in which the lower teeth sit farther than the top teeth. This problem is categorized as Class III malocclusion and discomfort, and in some cases, it causes pain too. Many even feel conscious about their underbite, which impacts their confidence level.
Some underbite cases are light and almost unnoticeable, while some are rather severe in which the lower teeth extend much forward.
It’s more than only a cosmetic matter. Severe cases require treatment since they might cause oral health issues such as:
- Mouth and face discomfort because of jaw misalignment.
- Problems in chewing and biting.
- Challenges with speaking.
- Often tongue bites while eating, which sucks.
What Causes an Underbite?
Many factors may result in an underbite, such as:-
Bad Childhood Habits
Stop your child from prolonged thumb sucking, continued pacifier usage, pushing on teeth using their tongue, and long-term bottle feeding.
These youth habits might raise the probability of creating an under bite.
Typically, an under bite is inherited. If at least another individual in your family has it, you’re more inclined to receive it. Genetics also play a part in determining an individual’s jaw, tooth shape, and size.
A tumor around the jawbone or at the mouth can cause the jaw to float. This particular tumor creates an underbite.
Any harm to the face can cause irreversible damage to the jawbones. Even though it’s possible to fix the broken jawbones, they might not necessarily fit together correctly after being realigned. Such an injury might lead to an underbite.
Issues related to an under bite can vary from mild to severe, depending on the level of it. The complications may affect both physical and psychological wellness.
Persistent jaw pain or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) is a common side effect. Your jaw will feel ‘locked’ or ‘stuck’ and lead to popping sensations. It causes significant pain in the jaw. Some unwanted effects of TMJ contain toothaches, headaches, nausea, and earaches.
Problems faced by an underbite:
- Chewing and eating problems
- Bacterial and halitosis bacterial infections
- Distorted Teeth, when your upper and lower jaws don’t align properly, your teeth’s shape may start distorting.
- Speech Issues
- Chronic mouth breathing
- Sleep apnea and snoring
- Tooth decay in extreme cases of tooth enamel.
- Face distortion, depending upon the severeness of underbite, your lower jaw may tilt towards the left or right side.
Aside from physical problems, an underbite can impact an individual emotionally and psychologically. They may have issues like reduced self-esteem and confidence. Tilting of teeth may take your case up to a level where you would have to get rid of them and go for false teeth.
Luckily, an underbite is simple to spot, and physicians can repair it. Underbite correction is possible at any age and for any degree of seriousness.
Underbite vs. Overbite
Within an overbite, top teeth stretch out and cover the lower teeth entirely or partly. This type of teeth alignment generally ends in a rounder and shorter facial look, also known as class II malocclusion.
And in case of an underbite, lower teeth stretch out. This kind of bite doesn’t just affect a cosmetic look but can also be one of the top causes of temporomandibular joint disease.
If it has to do with an underbite correction, then it is ideal for treating the problem in early youth with a set of braces to get hassle-free dental therapy.
How to Correct Underbite?
You will find several underbite therapy techniques that could fix an underbite. These include:
Upper Jaw Expander:
This really is a wire-frame apparatus that’s fitted throughout the patient’s palate. Nightly, a particular key is used to broaden the expander by just a little. This procedure will slowly cause the upper jaw to expand until the underbite teeth no more protrude out. You’d usually use the expander for approximately a year and after that, use a retainer. This can be utilized for young individuals such as children and pre-teenagers.
Reverse-Pull Face Mask
That is just another alternative for young individuals and resembles a brace headgear. It wraps around the patient’s head and pulls the upper jaw back into the right position. It utilizes metal rings fastened to the top back teeth.
In intense instances or for elderly patients, under bite operation is suggested. It helps in reshaping and shortening of the lower jaw. Sometimes, the top jaw may also be lengthened to level up with the lower jaw. Screws, plates, and cables might be utilized to keep the appropriate form of the jawbone. Underbite jaw operation includes some risks like infection, scarring and general anaesthesia.
This can be an underbite correction with no operation in which the orthodontists reshape the lower teeth. Then veneers are fitted into the top teeth. This technique doesn’t really fix the issue but it creates the underbite less conspicuously and improves the jaw operation satisfactorily.
Underbite braces or transparent aligners may also fix milder cases. At times, operation and clear aligners might be recommended together to fix an underbite.
So, an underbite can badly affect your lifestyle. Fortunately, it can be repaired. Pay a visit to your orthodontist to know your treatment choices better.
This content was last medically reviewed by a doctor on 11 July 2020.