Did you know that the way your mouth is structured can positively or negatively affect the health of your smile? It’s true! Underbites occur in about 5 to 10 percent of the population. That particular characteristic can impact your ideal grin. What makes an underbite so unique? How can it affect your day-to-day? If you are a Mission Viejo local with pertinent questions regarding the uniqueness of your smile, check this out!
What is An Underbite?
While overbites are fairly common, underbites are less so. If any dental care professional mentions the terms “prognathism” or “malocclusion” while evaluating your mouth, don’t be alarmed! Those words are interchangeable with the word “underbite” or “bad bite.” Underbites can become troublesome to children and adults who want to maintain a higher quality of life. Underbites can present quite a few different challenges in context to dental hygiene. Here are a few problems that underbites can trigger:
- Jaw pain
- Uncommon jaw clicking
- Harmful enamel wear
- Bruxism (teeth grinding)
- Early tooth decay
- Low self-esteem in children and adults
Most prognathisms occur at birth. Dental science studies find a direct correlation between genetics and the majority of those who have underbites. Some ethnic groups are also more prone to incurring underbites. Only 1 out of every 20 people have an underbite. If you or someone you love lack the confidence they need to function because of their smile, there is hope. Corrective procedures are available to those who face daily struggles because of an underbite.
Not every adult who has an underbite was born with the condition. There are habits that when extended past the recommended age could contribute to the likelihood of developing a prognathism. On the positive side, you can be an effective deterrent in preventing an underbite from occurring. If you have an infant or toddler who didn’t have an underbite at birth watch out for these triggers:
- Prolonged thumb-sucking
- Bottle-feeding passed pediatrician recommended age
- Habitual pacifier use
- Tongue-thrusting against the teeth
Thankfully, there are many helpful tips and ideas available to help your child or family member steer clear of developing long-term habits that affect teeth health. Even if an underbite develops or occurred at birth, you have options.
Underbite Correction Options
Children and adults shouldn’t have to suffer from the problems associated with underbites. For some this particular condition can be debilitating in terms of building self-esteem, attaining job offers or facilitating high-quality in life and business. Here are some of the ways dental experts correct underbites in children and adults:
1. Dental professionals often use braces to correct underbites in children. This option is now more appealing to young children and teens because they can come in either metal form or less-noticeable clear braces.
2. For those with mild underbites, there are mildly invasive cosmetic procedures available. Veneers adhered to reshaped teeth can allow for teeth to close the gap caused by an underbite.
3. Upper jaw expanders or reverse-pull face masks are face/headgear options that may be used to correctly widen, or pull the jaw into the correct position. Upper jaw expanders are typically used over the duration of a year.
4. Extreme cases of jaw misalignment may require surgical treatment. Adults often benefit from dental surgery. This method positions the jaw portion with the lowers further back.
At Oso Marguerite Dental our mission is to help our patients achieve their ideal smile. No one should have to deal with consistent jaw pain, problematic tooth decay or other troubling symptoms caused by a malocclusion. Contact our dental professionals today and we’ll help you discover your perfect grin!