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06 May 2013

Are underbites causing you pain?

Underbites are a dental condition where the lower jaw and bottom teeth protrude past the upper teeth. While not as common as overbites, underbites affect up to 5-10% of all dental patients. When left untreated, jaw pain, abnormal biting functions and premature tooth wear can become a chronic problem.

What Causes An Underbite?

As with overbites, there are several possible reasons that a person may experience underbites:

  • Genetic, hereditary or developmental reasons
  • Abnormal oral habits
  • Oral appliance use for sleep apnoea, such as those with CPAP machines
  • Children who are mouth breathers

Why Should an Underbite Be Treated?

After corrective treatment, patients who previously had underbites typically become noticeably more outgoing and confident. Dr. Pang continues to hear great stories from his patients as to the huge improvement in their lives thanks to enhanced self-esteem as well as their normal oral function improvement.

Aside from promoting a greater level of confidence, there are genuine medical reasons for treating an underbite. People with underbites are more likely to experience TMJ disorder as a result of repetitive daily abnormal jaw function. Not only can this lead to headaches, jaw, neck and shoulder pain, it can create irreversible damage to the teeth and jaws. Premature wear and gum disease risk is high.

How Can My Underbite Be Treated?

Treatment for underbites is most effective on children who are still growing. Growth modification though orthodontic appliances such as an expander can help avoid surgery later on. These temporary devices are worn for several months and then removed after the jaw has correct itself. Early intervention prior to the age of 8 can prove to be most successful.

If the patient undergoing therapy is an adult, it may be necessary to perform a surgical procedure on the fully developed jaw in order to correct the bone structure. If this is the case then braces will need to be worn prior to and after the surgical procedure. The good news is that Dr. Pang offers both Tru-Line invisible braces as well as Invisalign; adults and teens can have effective orthodontic treatment that in many cases avoids the need for surgical procedures.

Don’t let your underbite go untreated another day. Call Cosmic Smile Dental to schedule a consultation to assess your orthodontic needs and get your self-confidence back. You deserve a beautiful smile, and thanks to new technology at our disposal, we can help you achieve it.