My child has an UNDERBITE – Part 1
What is an underbite?
Most people have some degree of overbite where upper front teeth overlap in front of lower teeth. An underbite, also known as a Class III malocclusion, is an abnormal relationship between the upper and lower teeth, in which the lower front teeth overlap in front of the upper teeth.
A person with an underbite may be described as having a ‘strong chin’ or has a ‘moon-face’ side facial profile due to the chin being more forward than the rest of the face.
What causes an underbite?
Underbites are usually genetic in origin. Underbite may be a result of a small upper jaw with a normal sized lower jaw, or normal sized upper jaw with a large lower jaw, or a combination of small upper jaw with large lower jaw.
In some cases, underbite may be a result of crooked teeth, which forces the person to push the lower jaw forward to bite more comfortably.
What are the complications of underbite?
Besides aesthetic issues, if left untreated, underbite may result in uneven toothwear, gum disease involving gum recession and bone loss, and difficulties with eating and chewing.
Will underbite self-correct?
Underbite does not normally self-correct.
If left untreated, underbite tends to worsen during teenage years. This is because the lower jaw grows forward at a later age and for a longer duration than the upper jaw.
In the PART 2 of this UNDERBITE SERIES, we will be discussing treatment timing and treatment methods for underbite.
If you or your child has an underbite, see one of our specialists orthodontist for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION.