What is an Underbite?
An Overview Of Underbites
An underbite is a condition that causes the lower teeth to overlap the upper teeth. The clinical term for an underbite is prognathism. An underbite can range from mild to severe. Genetics play a role in the development of an underbite. If one or both parents has an underbite, then a child will be more likely to develop it.
Children who suck their thumb or use a pacifier for an extended period time are more likely to develop an underbite. Additionally, there are several medical conditions that can cause an underbite. Crouzon syndrome is one of the conditions that can cause bite problems. This is a condition that occurs when the sutures in the skull fuse prematurely. The skull is deformed as the result of Crouzon syndrome.
Complications Of Underbites
Underbites can cause self-esteem issues because the smile is one of the first things that people notice about another person. It is also important to note that an underbite can cause a number of complications. It can cause eating problems. People who have an underbite are also more likely to have speaking problems.
Additionally, underbites can lead to other dental issues. When the teeth do not come together properly, they are harder to clean. This is likely to result in tooth decay. Bacterial infections and bad breath are also likely to occur if a person has an underbite. Sleep apnea is another condition that can occur as the result of an underbite.
Ways To Treat An Underbite
There are a variety of ways that an underbite can be treated. Braces are the most common treatment that is recommended for underbites. There are several types of braces, including metal braces, lingual braces, invisible braces and ceramic braces. The amount of time that you have to wear braces is dependent upon the severity of your underbite.
A dentist may also recommend an upper jaw expander. This is a device that is fitted in the patient’s palate. It works by helping the upper jaw expand. As the jaw expands, the teeth will move into their proper position. Upper jaw expanders are often recommended for children. Patients typically wear their expanders for one year.
If a person has a severe underbite, then surgery may be recommended. Surgery is typically a last result. The earlier an underbite is treated, the better.
At Southern Dental Care, we strive to be a source of information and trust for our patients. For those that qualify, Southern Dental Care’s Six Month Smile program can help correct crooked teeth and other issues without the worry of metallic braces. Give our office a call to learn more about the program or schedule an appointment with us using the form to the right of this page!