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 the health, function, and appearance of your smile. 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. Our goal is 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 there are not any external factors that can influence whether or not you develop an underbite. They are formed by an underdeveloped upper jaw and a larger lower jaw. Genetics can determine if you have jaw deformities or overcrowding teeth, both of which can contribute to an overbite. Early intervention and phased treatment for underbites are highly recommended for the best possible 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 on its own, meaning that an underbite will typically require 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 any form of discomfort or pain, be sure to visit our Flower Mound orthodontics office for a consultation with Dr. Sankey. During your consultation, Dr. Sankey will assess your symptoms and perform a complete evaluation of your teeth, jaw, and bite. With the results of your exam, 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 is also available to answer your questions or schedule a consultation.

Do genetics play a role in underbites?

Underbites can be caused by a genetic predisposition. Some genetic conditions that are known to 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 be used to treat select types of underbites. If an underbite has been 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, the only way to treat an underbite is through surgery. 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 being easier to treat than others. Orthodontists will likely take an x-ray to get an internal skeletal picture so that they can analyze what is the cause of the underbite is.

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

At what age should an underbite be treated?

It is best to treat an underbite as soon as possible. Dr. Sankey typically recommends treatment during childhood or adolescence when the jaw is still growing and will respond to orthodontic treatment better. Between the ages of 7 to 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 outweighs the benefits of having your underbite corrected. It will improve your oral health and prevent future dental problems.

Can an underbite lead to health problems?

It is possible for underbites to 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?

It is possible for your underbite to return after treatment. That is why we give you specific instructions to follow after treatment. With proper after care, including wearing retainers as we prescribed, the risk of the underbite relapsing is minimized. 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.