How to Fix an Underbite

What Is An Underbite?

An underbite is when the lower jaw protrudes further out than the upper arch of teeth. Although they are often seen as an aesthetic issue, if left untreated, underbites can lead to a range of oral health concerns that can affect the health, function, and appearance of a patient’s smile. Finding solutions for underbites can help improve your smile’s health, function, and appearance. Underbites are one of the orthodontic concerns that Dr. Sankey has experience treating.

Dr. Wayne L. Sankey offers comprehensive care for patients seeking treatment for an underbite near you. We aim to help realign the jaw and create a more stable bite. We work closely with our patients throughout all phases of their care and provide personalized solutions for their orthodontic needs.

What Causes An Underbite?

Underbites are usually the result of genetics, which means no external factors can influence whether or not you develop one. They are formed by an underdeveloped upper jaw and a larger lower jaw. Genetics can determine if you have jaw deformities or overcrowding teeth, which can contribute to an overbite. Early intervention and phased underbite treatment are highly recommended for the best results.

In some cases, poor dental habits can increase the degree of an underbite. For instance, factors such as mouth breathing, thumb thrusting, poor chewing habits, thumb sucking, and excessive pacifier use can contribute to underbite. Developing proper dental habits, especially at a young age, can help improve the health and function of your smile.

What Are The Treatment Options For An Underbite?

Unlike an overbite, an underbite will not resolve independently, meaning an underbite typically requires some form of treatment. Early intervention is key to restoring function to your bite. In addition, there any many benefits to fixing an underbite, including the following:

  • Allows for easier cleaning of the teeth and gums
  • Reduces the risk of tooth decay and gum disease
  • Can alleviate tension and pain in the face and jaw

If you are experiencing discomfort or pain, visit our Flower Mound Orthodontics office for a consultation with Dr. Sankey. During your consultation, Dr. Sankey will assess your symptoms and evaluate your teeth, jaw, and bite. Based on the exam results, Dr. Sankey can build a treatment plan that is right for you.

A comprehensive treatment for an underbite may include one of the following solutions:

While early intervention is best for optimal results, undergoing treatment for underbite in adulthood is possible. Patients of any age can benefit from a comfortable bite. Visit Flower Mound Orthodontics to explore your options.

Underbite FAQs

An underbite is a condition that you should not ignore. If you or a family member have been diagnosed with one, learn more about them by reading the following frequently asked questions. Our office staff can also answer your questions or schedule a consultation.

Do genetics play a role in underbites?

A genetic predisposition can cause underbites. Some genetic conditions that cause underbites are binder syndrome, Rabson-Mendenhall syndrome, Geroderma osteodysplastica, and Treacher-Collins syndrome. However, underbites can also be caused by childhood habits such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting.

Can Invisalign® help an underbite?

Invisalign can treat select types of underbites. If an underbite is caused by teeth being out of position, orthodontists will likely recommend Invisalign as a first treatment option because it is likely to help fix crooked teeth. If your underbite is more severe and is part of a jaw bone misalignment, Invisalign may be used as treatment, along with other orthodontic appliances.

In some very severe cases, surgery is the only way to treat an underbite. If you are looking into treating an underbite and want to explore Invisalign options, talk to or schedule an appointment with your orthodontist.

When does an underbite require surgery?

Underbites come in many different levels of severity, some easier to treat than others. Orthodontists will likely take an X-ray to get an internal skeletal picture so that they can analyze the cause of the underbite.

Treatment can depend on many factors, the number one being the severity of the bite, but also including the patient’s age, cause of the underbite, and genetic predisposition. Your orthodontist will likely attempt to fix your underbite without therapy, but it is not uncommon for surgery to be an option.

At what age should you treat an underbite?

It is best to treat an underbite as soon as possible. Dr. Sankey recommends treatment during childhood or adolescence when the jaw is still growing and will respond better to orthodontic treatment. Between the ages of 7 and 11, orthodontics can guide proper jaw development. Adults can benefit from underbite treatment as well, but it may be more complex and involve surgery.

Is it painful to correct an underbite?

Orthodontic treatments such as braces or aligners can cause some discomfort but are not typically uncomfortable. When correcting an underbite, adjustments are required, which will involve pressure. This pressure inside your mouth may lead to mild soreness.

However, we use techniques to minimize discomfort, and patients can take over-the-counter pain relievers to help with the discomfort as needed. This temporary discomfort doesn’t outweigh the benefits of correcting your underbite. It will improve your oral health and prevent future dental problems.

Can an underbite lead to health problems?

Underbites can lead to health problems. The misalignment of the upper and lower jaws makes it difficult to chew and speak properly. For many, this causes poor nutrition and challenges when communicating with others. Underbites can also strain the jaw muscles, leading to jaw pain and discomfort.

This may lead to TMD, a disorder that affects the temporomandibular joints. Patients with TMD suffer from chronic jaw pain, headaches, and difficulty opening and closing the mouth. Correcting your overbite can save you additional health issues in the future.

Will my underbite come back after treatment?

Your underbite can return after treatment, so we give you specific instructions to follow after treatment. Proper aftercare, including wearing retainers as we prescribed, minimizes the risk of the underbite relapsing. Regular follow-ups with Dr. Sankey are essential to monitor your progress and ensure long-term stability.

Find Treatment For An Underbite in Flower Mound, TX

Visit Dr. Sankey and our team at Flower Mound Orthodontics for the care you need. We can evaluate your smile and determine which solutions are right for you. We offer a wide range of treatment options for patients with overbites. To learn more about your options, call 972.833.8212 or request an appointment online.