A severe underbite is an invitation to several types of discomfort, mainly jaw pain, speech issues, headaches, and tooth decay. Its treatment in case of children comprises of non-surgical measures that involve orthodontic approaches whereas in adults, it is done by means of braces and surgery.
About an underbite
An underbite is a kind of bite abnormality or malocclusion that happens when the lower jaw of a person extends in the upward direction and beyond the upper region of teeth. When a person suffering from this ailment, close their mouth, then their chins shifts in the forward direction.
This makes their face look flat and long, with the chin a little larger than normal. They are bad and needs to be treated soon as it can produce strong negative effects on quality of life and self-esteem of a person.
What are the negative health effects caused by underbite?
Apart from the aesthetic issues related to having an underbite, it is responsible for a number of health problems:
- TMJ pain — TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint that connects the skull to the jawbone. Underbites exert more pressure on TMJ joint that leads to acute pain and aches. This type of pain caused due to an underbite radiates to the surrounding areas that result in ear pain, facial pain, and headaches.
- Gum disease and tooth decay — Underbite can lead to wearing down of teeth in an uneven fashion which results in gum disease, tooth decay, and loss of tooth enamel too.
- Modified teeth alignment — Abnormal stresses that are placed by an underbite modifies their alignment. It makes them crooked with passing time.
- Issues while swallowing and chewing of food — Ability to chew is dependent on the correct alignment of the lower and upper jaw. In some cases, this type of misalignment makes swallowing and chewing a lot hard.
- Speech related issues — Speech issues can even develop as the placement of the teeth and tongue are changed by the bite abnormality. People who suffer from this problem face difficulty in speaking certain words.
- Snoring and sleep apnea — Some severe form of underbites can result into apnea, snoring, and other types of discomfort in breathing at the time of sleep.
Causes of an underbite
Genetics is the primary cause for underbite. Other reasons being specific childhood practices such as thumb sucking and spending a lot of time with a pacifier or bottle.
Treatment to correct an underbite
Underbite treatments are categorized into two: surgical and nonsurgical.
For children, underbite correction technique consists of:
- Upper jaw expanders
- Chin caps
- Reverse face masks
For adults, underbite correction methods comprise of:
- Tooth extraction
An underbite is the most noticeable issues of all types of dental problems. A severe underbite modifies face shape, distorts features and makes chin to stick out. It is also responsible for a host of acute health conditions. By performing the right treatment, under the guidance of a specialized surgeon, it can assist sufferers to regain their lost quality of life and self-confidence.