What Is an Underbite?

You may be well aware of some of the various conditions that are treated by orthodontics, with underbites being one of them. But what are the underlying issues associated with this particular type of malocclusion? Can it be prevented or treated? When it comes to issues with the teeth, you can rest easy knowing many of these issues can be treated successfully through the help of orthodontics, and in recent years, advancements in the field have made your options even more vast.

What Causes an Underbite?

An underbite is classified as the lower teeth extending in front of the upper teeth. When this occurs, not only can it create issues with appearance and self-confidence, but it can also affect other aspects of daily life, including difficulty with eating and speaking. Not to mention the negative effects an underbite has on the teeth. Teeth that don’t line up properly often wear down much faster. In some cases, an underbite can be caused by childhood habits, such as:

  • Abnormal jaw growth (generally genetics)
  • Thumb sucking
  • Overuse of pacifier
  • Tongue thrusts

Other causes of underbites can include genetics and injuries. In many cases, underbites are passed down through family genes, making you more likely to develop an underbite if at least one other person in your family suffers from one. A cleft lip or palate can also cause this type of malocclusion to occur.

How to Treat an Underbite

It is recommended to treat an underbite, even if it is not very severe, as it can cause issues with how you take care of your teeth. Treatment options for underbites include braces or Invisalign to move the teeth into their proper places. In severe cases, surgery may be recommended to treat your issue effectively.

In choosing not to treat this condition, you run the risk of discomfort with eating and problems with speech, in addition to difficulty sticking to proper oral hygiene techniques. Failure to properly care for your teeth can result in tooth decay and gum disease, among other more serious problems.

Benefits of Treating Underbites

In choosing to treat your underbite, you’ll be able to take care of your teeth with ease, limiting your risk for developing gum disease or suffering from tooth decay. You’ll also limit premature wear and tear of the teeth, due to an improper bite. It will also be easier to bite and chew, and any speech impediments may be rectified by treatment. In addition to all of the good that comes out of treatment, you’ll increase self-confidence by improving your appearance, and you’ll most likely smile more to show off your perfect teeth.

Don’t think that just because your underbite is minimal it doesn’t affect your smile. Failure to clean your teeth properly has consequences. Failure to correct your bite has consequences. It’s important to note it’s never too late to address the issues with your teeth. Your orthodontist will be happy to go over your options and design a treatment plan for you. All you have to do is take the first step in acknowledging your need for treatment.

At Charleston Orthodontic Specialists, our team is here for you! Call (843) 4-BRACES to learn more.

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