An underbite is an orthodontic malocclusion that happens when your lower jaw is shoved or pushed forward. When a bite is normal, your lower teeth are slightly overlapped by your front teeth. If Bruce Vafa DDS. determines the position of your jaw and lower teeth are in front of your jaw and upper teeth, it means you have an underbite. There are two different types of underbites, dental underbites and skeletal underbites. A dental underbite is the result of teeth misalignment often resulting from a crossbite.
A crossbite means when you bite down your lower and upper teeth do not align properly. If your lower teeth are not inside of your upper teeth when you close your jaws, it is called an occlusion. A malformation of your jawbone is the cause of a skeletal underbite. This kind of malocclusion is generally genetic and present at birth. The cause of your underbite can be from a dental teeth misalignment, skeletal jaw formation or a combination of both.
Causes of Underbites
There are many different causes for an underbite including:
• The primary cause is genetics
• Babies drinking from bottles for too long
• Sucking the thumb as a child
• Injuries to the jaw and face
• Tongue thrusting
• Jawbone tumors
• Babies sucking pacifiers for longer than normal
The majority of underbites diagnosed are in adolescents and children. Once their permanent teeth have erupted completely, the misalignment generally resolves itself. If you believe one of your children has a true overbite, it is extremely important you make an appointment with your West Hollywood dentist as quickly as possible to determine if treatment is required.
If your children are younger, the best treatment option for an underbite is usually braces. Braces are also effective for certain adults and adolescents. Whether the issue is functional, aesthetic, jaw realignment or smile correction, braces are usually a good option. You simply make an appointment with your Los Angeles holistic dentist at intervals of four to eight weeks until the treatment is complete. Patients wear braces for as little as 18 months or for as long as three years.
Baby Teeth Extraction
Surgically extracting baby teeth is a common treatment for children and babies. When baby teeth are removed early, permanent teeth have more room to grow straight. Your Los Angeles Hollywood dentist tries not to extract permanent teeth in adults unless the case is severe and teeth movement is necessary.
Upper Jaw Expander
An expander is placed in the upper jaw over a few of the back teeth with a screw in the middle. The device is activated by turning the screw slightly every day to create the tension necessary between the palatal bones. The idea is to widen the upper jaw so the dental arch is expanded and teeth are moved within the bone. Most patients require palatal expansion for three to six months.
Invisalign are clear aligners with orthodontic approval for the correction of crowding due to minor underbites. This treatment is also effective if the teeth are tilted in the wrong direction. Surgery or palatial expansion is still necessary if the underbite is caused by an invasive orthodontic treatment, surgery or skeletal issues.
If you are an adult with a severe underbite, you may need jaw surgery. Expect to pay as much as $40,000. You will require x-rays, an in-depth exam and general anesthesia. Your jawbone is then cut, reshaped and repositioned by your oral surgeon. This surgery is referred to as orthognathic surgery and coordination between your oral surgeon and orthodontist is necessary.
Reverse-Pull Face Mask
Headgear may be necessary in addition to braces. This device has pads you attach to your forehead and a facemask frame for your chin and in between. Your braces have anchorage devices you connect to your frame using rubber bands.