For children with an orthodontic problem, achieving and keeping a lovely smile can be challenging. However, just because your teeth have an inherent problem does not mean it cannot be treated. The advancements in dental technology these day can quickly improve any condition within days or weeks. In the case of underbite correction, it is not as complex and exhaustive as it used to be.
What is an Underbite?
Medically called prognathism or Class III Malocclusion, underbite is a malocclusion where the lower teeth overlap the upper teeth. This condition vary depending on the severity, from a mild underbite to a condition where the teeth don’t touch at all due to the wide gap. Underbite isn’t as common as an overbite but at present, 1 in 10 Americans has an underbite. Prognathism can affect anyone of any ethnicity.
Having an underbite may give the impression that you are showing an emotion that isn’t intended. As such, it may result to a social issue that many people want to fix for good.
What are the Causes of Underbite?
Underbite is usually hereditary. It is a misalignment of the lower jaw and is often present at birth. Those with Crouzon Syndrome could show signs of underbite. It can also develop as a result of certain conditions such as acromegaly or gigantism. The issue associated with prognathism depends on the severity. If the malocclusion is too wide, it can cause:
· Problems with speaking
· Eating difficulties
· Chronic mouth breathing, bacterial infections and halitosis
· Chronic jaw or TMJ pain
· Headaches, earaches
· Sleep apnea, snoring, night-time breathing difficulties
· Tooth decay due to excessive wear of enamel
What are the Ways to Correct It?
There are several methods to fix an underbite, from orthodontic appliances to jaw surgery. It is important to visit a pediatric dentist as soon as possible for orthodontic screening, which must be checked by the age of seven.
Corrective appliances for children come in two types:
Reverse Pull Headgear – is a special orthodontic appliance intended to pull the upper jaw and teeth forward while preventing the forward growth of lower jaw. The more you use the headgear, the better it work.
Palatal Expander – is a common orthodontic appliance made of wire and attached to the upper back teeth. This slowly widens the upper jaw to treat or prevent malocclusions.
In extreme cases, underbite correction may need orthognathic jaw surgery.
How to Maintain Oral Health for People with Bite Problems?
While deciding what method of underbite correction is best for you, it is important to maintain proper oral health. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss and rinse it with a mouthwash.
Ask your dentist about the options to fix your underbite. Bite alignment is rarely perfect, particularly at a young age, but the treatment options on the necessary adjustments can bring out the smile you deserve.