An underbite is a term for a dental condition where the lower jaw protrudes forward past the upper arch of teeth. Some patients have minor underbites that will not affect their life or health while others have very noticeable, severe cases.
Underbites can lead to a range of oral health complications and often cause patients a great deal of social difficulty. Treating underbites during the early stages of oral development can improve the health and comfort of the bite and prevent further stigmatization.
Timonium, MD board-certified orthodontist Dr. Mohammad Izadi offers comprehensive orthodontic care for the treatment of underbites. Our goal is to pinpoint the functional and skeletal cause of the underbite in order to bring the jaw back into proper alignment. Izadi Orthodontics promotes orthodontic retention through patient education and extended support after the completion of treatment.
What Causes An Underbite?
Underbites are commonly hereditary and are typically caused by an underdeveloped upper jaw and larger lower jaw. Overcrowding and jaw deformities can also cause an underbite. Early intervention and phased treatment for underbites are highly recommended for optimal results.
There are also many habits a child could acquire that could lead to an underbite. While not all thumb sucking will damage teeth, persistent and vigorous thumb sucking can affect the lower jaw causing an underbite.
Also, when a child uses a pacifier past the age of 3, this can also affect the lower jaw. Other childhood habits that can lead to an underbite include pushing their teeth constantly with their tongue and feeding with a bottle way past infant years.
Complications Caused by Underbites
Besides leading to poor self-esteem due to appearance, underbites can also make it difficult for children to eat and speak normally. Underbites can affect a child’s speech development and facial and skeletal development. More advanced underbites can cause breathing difficulties and chronic facial discomfort. Issues with biting and chewing food can make it difficult for a child to eat a healthy diet that can lead to poor overall health.