Preventing Tooth Decay To Maintain Healthy Teeth

5 Questions About Underbites

It is natural for your teeth to have a very slight overbite, which is when the upper teeth rest slightly past the lower teeth. An underbite is not natural at all, and it is the complete opposite when the lower teeth stick out past the upper teeth. This can lead to a lot of complications, which is why you likely have some questions about it. 

How Does An Underbite Affect Eating?

Your teeth have a natural chewing pattern where your rear molars are able to touch so you can chew your food. An underbite can disrupt that natural chewing pattern and cause serious problems with TMJ-related pain over time. If you are not experiencing pain now with an underbite, chances are that you will feel it later on in life if you do not address the problem.

How Does An Underbite Affect Speech?

As an underbite remains untreated, you'll develop speech problems due to how your tongue comes in contact with your teeth. It is common to develop a lisp due to an underbite, which is something that you want to avoid. Your speech pattern will become altered, and it may be a very gradual thing that you do not notice until it has made a big change in how you talk.

Will An Underbite Impact The Look Of Your Mouth?

An underbite will cause your face to look a bit different since your jaw is going to stick outward due to how the lower teeth stick out further than normal. While it is part of some peoples’ signature look, others do not like a jaw that protrudes outwards and want to have it fixed. 

What Causes An Underbite? 

There are many childhood habits that can cause an underbite, such as thumb-sucking and drinking out of a bottle for a long period of time. It is also a genetic trait that can be passed down from your parents. Facial trauma can also be the cause of an underbite. 

How Do You Fix An Underbite? 

There are several methods that can be used to fix an underbite. Your dentist will want to use a growth modification technique at a young age to have the most success at correcting an underbite. As a person gets older, retainers, braces, aligners, and jaw expanders can all be used as well. Surgery is often recommended when an adult wants to correct an underbite because their jaw is fully formed.

To learn more, contact a general dentistry professional in your area.