Underbite: Causes and Your Treatment Options

Over half of the population worldwide has some kind of bite issue. And one of the most common types is an underbite.

Underbites can affect our appearance, as well as our overall quality of life. And if left untreated, an underbite can cause severe pain and health issues.

Learn about underbites, their causes, and how to fix bite issues.

What Is Underbite?

An underbite is when the lower jaw extends further than the upper teeth in the mouth. Underbites can be mild, where the lower teeth sit barely past the upper teeth, or they can be more severe where the jaw is noticeably protruding from the face.

In a normal bite, the teeth rest evenly together, without the bottom teeth covering the top (and vice versa).

For some, an underbite may be embarrassing and hurt their self-esteem because of the appearance of their mouth and jaw.

For people with a bite condition like an underbite, jaw pain and jaw disorders may form. Then, there may be other discomforts as a result, such as headaches and toothaches.

It can also be difficult to breathe normally with an underbite. This can lead to sleep apnea, chronic mouth breathing, and bad breath.

Underbite Causes

There are a few common causes of underbite.

Certain childhood habits, such as thumb sucking or using a pacifier, can affect the bite, leading to an underbite.

Any trauma, injury, or unusual growth along the jaw can also lead to an underbite.

But for most people with an underbite, their genes are the cause. Just like other physical traits, an underbite may run in the family. In this case, the bite issue can’t be prevented—it can only be treated to achieve proper jaw and bite placement.

Treatment for Underbite

Underbite treatment depends on age and the severity of the underbite.

Children may benefit from using a face mask device, which pulls the upper jaw forward while the child is wearing it.

Elastics work in a similar way, except they’re worn inside the mouth and not around the head like a face mask.

For most children and adults, the most effective treatment for underbite is to use orthodontic treatment. Braces, retainers, and teeth aligners work to shift the teeth to improve bite issues. Technology such as Invisalign attachments can target jaw issues like underbite.

Rarely, a severe underbite may require surgery. In some cases, surgery can also be combined with teeth aligners to treat underbites in adults.

Fix Your Underbite and Start Smiling More

Underbites can impact the way we look, while also causing health issues and discomfort. And unfortunately, most underbites are genetic, meaning they can’t be easily prevented.

But treating an underbite is possible at any age.

If you have an underbite, consider getting treatment, such as aligners, to correct your bite. Then, you can start smiling more with your improved teeth.

For more health and dental advice, check out our other health articles!


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