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Possible Underbite Causes You Should Know

It’s not uncommon for people to have underbites. In fact, it’s one of the most common types of bite. But do you know what might be causing your underbite? This blog will explore some of the possible causes of underbites. But first, let’s learn more about what an underbite is.

What Is an Underbite?

The lower teeth sit in front of the upper teeth due to an underbite, which occurs when the lower jaw protrudes outward more than the upper jaw. This causes a lot of wear and tear on the lower teeth and makes it difficult to chew properly. There are two types of underbite:

Class III Malocclusion

With this underbite, the lower jaw is significantly longer than the upper jaw. Class III malocclusion is the most severe type of underbite and can cause facial imbalance.

Class II Malocclusion

This type of underbite is not as severe as Class III malocclusion, but it’s still a serious condition. With Class II malocclusion, the lower jaw is only slightly longer than the upper jaw.

What Causes an Underbite?

There are a few different things that can cause an underbite. Here are some of the most common causes:

Inherited Traits

One of the most common causes of underbite is inherited traits. If you have parents or grandparents with an underbite, there’s a good chance you will have one too. You can also inherit other facial traits that can contribute to an underbite, such as a small upper jaw or large lower jaw.

Not only can you inherit an underbite, but you can also inherit other conditions that can cause an underbite. For example, if your parents have a condition called cleft palate, you’re more likely to have an underbite.

Skeletal Growth Disturbances

While most people’s jaws grow at the same rate, some people have a condition that causes their jaws to grow at different rates. This can cause an underbite. The most common type of skeletal growth disturbance is called maxillary prognathism. This is when the upper jaw grows too much, causing the lower jaw to appear smaller.

Same as the inherited traits, certain conditions can cause skeletal growth disturbances. One of these conditions is Acromegaly, which is when the pituitary gland produces too much growth hormone. This can cause the bones in your face to grow at an abnormal rate, leading to an underbite.

Dental Eruption Patterns

The way your teeth erupt (or come in) can also cause an underbite. If your upper teeth come in before your lower teeth, it can cause an underbite. This is because the upper teeth push the lower jaw forward. While this is not a common cause of underbite, it’s still something to be aware of.

Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking is another possible cause of underbite. When you suck your thumb, it puts pressure on the teeth and jaw. This can cause the teeth to become misaligned and the jaw to become misshapen. If you’re a thumb sucker, it’s important to stop as soon as possible to avoid an underbite.

A girl holding her toy and sucking thumb

Treatments for Underbite

If you have an underbite, a few different treatment options are available. The treatment you receive will depend on the severity of your underbite and the underlying cause. Here are some of the most common treatments for underbite:

Orthodontic Treatment

If your underbite is caused by misaligned teeth, the most common treatment is orthodontic treatment. This usually involves wearing braces or other dental appliances to slowly move the teeth into the correct position.

Surgery

In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct an underbite. You can get jaw surgery to correct the position of your jaw. This type of surgery is usually only recommended for severe cases of underbite or when other treatments haven’t worked.

Speech Therapy

You may also need speech therapy if you have an underbite. This is because an underbite can make it difficult to speak clearly. A speech therapist can help you learn how to speak correctly with an underbite.

Good Oral Hygiene

Most importantly, you need to practice good oral hygiene if you have an underbite. This means brushing and flossing your teeth regularly. You should also see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. This will help you avoid other dental problems, such as cavities and gum disease.

Bottom Line

An underbite can be a nuisance, but it’s essential to know that there are treatments available. If you have an underbite, talk to your dentist about the best treatment option for you. So visit your dentist as soon as possible. You don’t have to live with an underbite forever!

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