Underbite is a relatively rare malocclusion, but at the same time, it remains one of the most serious orthodontic problems. In most cases, it is diagnosed in children and then treated, but underbite also requires orthodontic intervention in the case of adults.
What is underbite?
Underbite is a malocclusion from the anteroposterior group (other types of malocclusion are transverse and vertical malocclusions). Another name for underbite is anterior malocclusion, which already suggests what the clinical symptom is. In an underbite, the functions associated with chewing food are impaired, but vocal and respiratory functions are also weakened. In addition, orthodontic treatment allows you to rebuild facial aesthetics.
Types of underbite
The mechanism of underbite formation may be relatively variable, as the problem may result from the abnormal growth of the jaw and mandible or the teeth themselves. Depending on the mechanism and extent of the clinical picture, there are three basic types of this malocclusion:
- complete underbite: the entire lower dental arch has protruded forward in relation to the jaw;
- partial underbite: the lower dental arch is protruding in front of the upper one only in its anterior part;
- pseudobite – when the anterior growth of the jaw has been inhibited: here the normal inferior arch is protruded by an abnormal growth of the jaw.
The symptoms of the overbite are easy to recognize, especially if the defect is advanced. These are the protrusion of the lower lip and smoothing of the natural labiomental fold. While these symptoms are unambiguous and characteristic, sometimes in the case of less pronounced defects, confirmation is also sought in some other changes in morphology or physiology.
How to recognize an underbite in adults?
In adults, the underbite is often accompanied by a fairly clearly reduced position of the tongue, forced by the protrusion of the mandible in relation to the jaw. If the overbite is accompanied by a crossbite, such a malocclusion can also be diagnosed after a specific pattern of wear of the lower and upper teeth. Adults with an underbite also signal more or less troublesome problems with breathing or vocal function.
How to recognize underbite in children?
Since milk teeth are quite sensitive, an underbite often leads to their damage. The pathological relation between the jaw and mandible also causes the development of upper lip suction. The child speaks less clearly and sometimes complains of pain in the mandible or temporomandibular joint. While there is no major problem with the diagnosis of an advanced defect, in the early stages the changes may be subtle. That is why it is so important to regularly visit a dentist who will be able to detect them.
Causes of underbite
In this case, genetic factors play a certain role that determines the tendency to develop such a defect. There are several congenital diseases in which an underbite occurs. It often occurs in children suffering from cleft palate. Today, it is recognized that underbite results mostly from environmental conditions and behavior. The most common causes are upper lip or thumb sucking and repeated pathological hypertrophy of the palatine tonsils.
The best effects of orthodontic treatment are observed when actions are taken in childhood. Then it is usually possible to control the defect by the least invasive methods. The key to success in this case is the most accurate diagnostics. Precise X-rays, if necessary, taking impression models, planning treatment, sometimes with the removal of the last molar buds. This is important because often the underbite is not the only defect. Often an open bite or certain changes appear in the sacral bite and the treatment methods are selected to remove them all.
Treatment of underbite in adults
In adults, as the bones have already completed their growth, fixed braces are used. If the dental arches are visibly distorted and braces alone are not sufficient, the help of an oral surgeon may be required.
Treatment of underbite bite in children
In children, fixed braces can be used, but most often it is enough to use removable braces. In the case of a congenital defect, it may be necessary to perform the surgical intervention, and in the case of acquired malformations, it may be necessary to introduce exercises that will allow you to get rid of harmful habits and acquire the correct patterns of jaw movement.
We have a perfect solution to your overbite
HCentrum employs the best orthodontists who can choose an effective treatment method according to the patient’s age and the level of severity of the defect. If you want us to prepare an individual treatment plan, especially for you, taking into account your individual needs and expectations, please contact us. Let’s book the first appointment and help you regain a beautiful, healthy smile!