May 21, 2020
 in 
Family Dentistry

How to Fix an Underbite

H

ave you always dreamed of having a beautiful, straight smile to show off to the world? Is there a frustrating dental issue holding you back, such as an obnoxious underbite? Don’t let a smile insecurity like an underbite hold you back. There are a variety of dental treatments available for correcting the issue, finally giving you the dream smile you have always wanted. Join your favorite local neighborhood dentist Rosslyn Farms Dental as we explore your different treatment options to fix your underbite. 

What is an Underbite?

Pittsburgh Dentist Rosslyn Farms Dental Gives You the Basics on Underbites

Dentist, Pain, Dental Care, Medicine, Mecial, Teeth

An underbite is a dental condition that occurs when the lower teeth extend further out than the front upper teeth. This can sometimes create a bulldog-like appearance in a patient’s face. While some cases are milder and less noticeable, others can cause severe oral health problems. Patients who suffer from facial pain from the misalignment of the jaw or have trouble speaking are often forced to undergo treatment at a young age to reduce their discomfort. 

Common Causes and Complications of Underbites

A variety of factors can cause underbites in adolescents and adults, including:

  • Bad childhood habits: Bad habits such as thumb sucking or feeding on a bottle past the infant years can increase one’s risk of developing an underbite. 
  • Genetics: Sometimes, people are just unlucky enough to inherit physical dental problems such as overcrowding of the teeth or a large lower jaw. These genetic problems often cause underbites in patients. 
  • Injury: Severe injuries to the face can permanently damage jawbones, causing an underbite to form even after the jaws are surgically realigned. 
  • Tumors: Tumors can develop along the jaw, which causes it to protrude and form an underbite. 
  • Birth defects: Sometimes birth defects such as a cleft lip can cause underbites to develop. 

Dental Treatments for Underbites

Popular Fixes and Correction Methods for Underbites

invisalign trays in case

There are a variety of treatments available for patients looking to correct their underbite. While most mild cases don’t require extra treatment, the patients that do undergo dental treatments reap great benefits from it. 

Invisalign

Invisalign can treat mild underbites. However, more severe underbites might require a combination of surgery and Invisalign treatment. Patients who are interested in Invisalign can take a free Smile Assessment or schedule a consultation with their dentist to see if Invisalign treatment is the right fit for them. After determining whether or not you are a good fit for the treatment, your orthodontist will create a personalized treatment plan just for you. They will also need to take a 3D scan of your teeth. Once the plan is finalized, your physician will order your custom aligners. 

Surgery

Several types of surgical methods can be used to fix an underbite, including the reshaping of the upper jaw or lower jaws. Oral surgeons will typically lengthen the upper jaw or shorten the lower jaw to correct the underbite. Sometimes, they may also have to place wires, plates, or screws into the bone in order to help it maintain its proper shape. However, surgery does come with a few risks, including infection and scarring.

Dental Treatments and Non-Surgical Procedures

Not all patients have to undergo surgery or receive braces to correct their underbites. If their underbite is a result of crowding, a patient might just need one or two teeth to be removed. A dentist could also shave down or smooth teeth that stick out using a grinding device. 

Other treatment options including placing an upper jaw expander into the mouth, wrapping a reverse-pull face mask around the head to bring the upper jaw forward, and a chin cap to inhibit the growth of the lower jaw. 

Perks of Dental Treatments for Underbites

Pittsburgh Dentist Rosslyn Farms Dental Breaks Down the Benefits of Underbite Treatment

smiling brunette woman standing outside

Patients who undergo treatment for their underbites enjoy a variety of benefits, including:

  • Lower risk of tooth decay and gum disease
  • Improved self-esteem
  • Higher quality of life
  • Adjusted facial shape
  • Ability to properly chew and swallow food
  • Decrease in headaches or earaches from the protruding jaw

For many people, these benefits far outweigh the mild discomfort or inconvenience that may result from undergoing these treatments. 

Tips For Maintaining Your Oral Health After Treatment

Don’t Forget to Maintain Your Oral Health When You Finish Undergoing Treatment

smiling woman in long-sleeved blue shirt talking to a friend

As you go through treatment for your underbite, it is important to maintain high standards of oral health. Remember to follow a program of brushing twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash. Don’t forget to attend check-ups and follow-up appointments to ensure you are on the right track. Underbites can be frustrating and can sometimes cause people to feel self-conscious about their smiles. Luckily, most underbites are treatable. 


Ready to fix your underbite once and for all? Contact our team to schedule an appointment with leading Pittsburgh dentist Rosslyn Farms today.


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