An underbite is a condition where the lower jaw protrudes over the upper teeth. An underbite can lead to several complications that may impact oral health and overall wellbeing. The severity of your condition will determine the most effective treatment for the underbite.
What are the Implications of an Underbite?
An underbite is a type of malocclusion that forces the lower teeth to overlap over the upper teeth. People of all ages may have an underbite that may vary from mild to severe. An underbite can affect your speech and the ability to chew food comfortably. Children with the condition may breathe through the mouth. Mouth breathing may lead to dry mouth, bacterial infections, and bad breath.
Friction between the upper and lower teeth may deteriorate the enamel. Bacteria accumulate on the teeth, increasing the risk of cavities and gum disease. Mouth breathing can also worsen asthma and sleep apnea. The changing shape of the jaw may increase the risk of TMD (Temporomandibular Disorder). An underbite causes the face to change shape and can make you self-conscious. Patients with the condition may have problems with pronunciation, which often affects self-esteem.
Orthodontics Underbite Treatment Options
Orthodontic treatments are most effective for children since their jaws are still malleable. Younger patients can respond to treatment with expanders, face masks, or braces. The American Academy of Orthodontists recommends taking children below age seven for checkups.
Several treatment options are available for adults, depending on the severity of their condition. Braces and Invisalign aligners can successfully treat mild cases of an underbite in adults. Tooth extraction may also address misalignments and crowded teeth.
However, surgery is the most common treatment for adults with a severe underbite. Recovery may take between six and 12 weeks after the surgery. Talk to our orthodontic specialists if you have an underbite to avoid complications. Contact our orthodontists to book an appointment today.
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