Orthodontic Problems and Solutions: Underbite

It is important for patients to know what kind of orthodontic problems they may have, as this is the only way to make sure that they can make informed choices about their dental treatment. Depending on what kind of orthodontic problem you have, your treatment can last from six months to three years, and the costs that are incurred vary greatly. This is why these series of articles wish to articulate what kind of orthodontic problems exist, what their solutions are, and what kind of costs and treatment times can be expected. As each case varies greatly, the final say will be made by your orthodontist, but these articles should give the patient a general idea of what to expect.

Today we will be examining the problem of underbite.


What is an underbite?

An underbite or a deep bite is when the lower jaw protrudes further than the upper jaw does, and creates an uneven bite. This is much rarer than overbite, and is a relatively rare condition. Usually this problem surfaces while still in childhood, and tends to get slightly worse during adulthood. An underbite will stay roughly the same though, and will not get worse as a crossbite, for example, tends to. Underbite is due to malocclusion of the two rows of teeth, which usually involves some kind of skeletal deformity or unevenness. Underbite is a problem because it stresses the TMJ (the joint that connect your lower jaw to the rest of your skull), puts the lower teeth at risk of tooth decay from constant exposure to air, and is a condition that is considered unattractive.
An underbite is almost never caused by habits, and is almost always genetically inherited from the parents. Please note that the parents do not need to exhibit the condition in order to pass it on to their offspring. This condition is caused by the jaws protruding further, but the condition does put excessive pressure on the lower teeth, causing them to stick out further.

How to treat underbite

Underbites are rarer and more difficult to treat than overbites or crossbites, and are usually more severe than other problems of the bite. Underbites can only be corrected using fixed traditional braces or more frequently, surgery. Usually the teeth on the bottom row are straightened using orthodontic braces, and once they have been aligned, the surgery will take place. This surgery involves moving the jaw back a little bit, and aligning it with the upper jaw.

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