Underbites are when the lower jaw protrudes beyond the upper jaw. This can be caused by malformations in the jawbone. Severe cases can have harmful effects and generally underbites are not considered aesthetically pleasing. At Parrish Orthodontics we offer underbite treatment. Ideally the condition should be addressed early on when children undergo frequent growth spurts, though sometimes the only way to correct this is oral surgery.
Adverse Effects of Underbite
Aside from aesthetics, underbites can also contribute to adverse health effects including:
Jaw pain: the temporomandibular joint connects the jaw bone to the skull and malocclusions put extreme pressure on it, causing pain in the area that can permeate elsewhere and cause facial pain, ear pain or headaches.
Gum recession, gum problems and tooth decay: underbite can lead to increased wear and tear on the teeth causing tooth decay, gum disease and erosion of tooth enamel.
Speech problems: severe cases can cause speech difficulties due to the altered position of the tongue and teeth, causing lisps in severe cases.
Chewing and swallowing difficulties: likewise, the misalignment of jaws and teeth can complicate chewing and swallowing.
Underbite Treatment at Parrish Orthodontics
Underbite may self-correct in the case of children who undergo growth spurts. If the underbite is not causing a problem, parents must wait until their child is 7-years-old to opt for corrective underbite treatment. For older teens and adults, it is different.
Braces are the most effective way to treat mild underbite. However, in extreme cases or when underbite is accompanied by overcrowding of teeth, an oral surgeon may be required to perform underbite correction surgery to align the upper and lower jaws properly.
For children, non-invasive underbite treatment include:
Chin cap: a device that wraps around the chin and lower jaw to slow its growth and stop it from taking the wrong shape in children and those in their early teens when their jaws are still forming.
Upper jaw expander: a device that is placed on the roof of the mouth and widened each night, helping increase the size of the dental arch and align the upper and lower jaws properly.
Reverse pull face mask: two pads that go on the forehead and the chin, connected by a vertical frame, that gently pulls the upper jaw so that it aligns with the lower jaw.
Braces remain the ideal treatment for underbite, correcting the alignment of the teeth, closing gaps between them and reigning in the front teeth.
Parrish Orthodontics provides dental correction treatments. It is best to fix the situation early on to increase the chances of hassle-free treatment. Reach out to schedule a consultation with us!