WHAT IS AN UNDERBITE?
An underbite is the position of your teeth when your lower front teeth are in front of your upper teeth on closing your mouth. Generally, this occurs when your lower teeth overlap upper teeth i.e. lower jaw is placed too far forward. This malocclusion is clinically called “prognathism”. This condition resembles that of crossbite, however, both are different. Crossbite affects only one tooth or a group of teeth, but underbite affects all the teeth of the lower jaw, and the entire lower jaw is placed in front of the upper jaw (appearing as a protruded or the prominent chin).
WHAT CAUSES UNDERBITE?
Genetics plays a major role in any kind of malocclusion. It has been found to be associated with various hereditary syndromes from birth. An underbite may also arise as a result of some abnormal childhood oral habits like prolonged pacifier use, thumb sucking, thrusting teeth forward with the tongue, etc. Any injury to the face or teeth may also cause the teeth to malign. This also arises out of a functional habit of closing the mouth improperly.
IS IT BAD TO HAVE AN UNDERBITE?
Underbite can cause you various problems like:
● Difficulty in eating and speaking
● Bad breath
● Mouth breathing
● Sleep apnea
● Excessive wear of enamel
● Chronic jaw or TM Joint pain
Apart from the physical issues, an underbite can also affect mental and psychological well-being by causing low self-esteem. Thankfully, an underbite is easy to diagnose and treat by doctors. The treatment of underbite is possible at any age and for any level of severity.
WHAT ARE MY TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR CORRECTING UNDERBITE?
Dentistry has revolutionized by leaps and bounds and newer breakthroughs have made such developments possible. Advanced systems like CAD-CAM, 3-D simulations, smile designing, etc. has changed the face of orthodontics. Gone are the days of bulky, “rail tracks” in your mouth to beautify your smile. Clear aligners are the next best thing right now. 90% of people needing orthodontic treatment hesitate to take that step, just because they do not want a “metal mouth”. With K-clear aligners, your underbite can be corrected. However, sometimes surgery may be required in conjunction with K-clear aligners treatment.
K Clear aligners enable orthodontic teeth movement with the help of clear tray like appliances, that snugly fit your teeth and have orthodontic forces incorporated into them to correct your underbite. They are removable, transparent, plastic aligners that need to be switched out every two weeks, as the orthodontist slowly moves your teeth into a better alignment. Apart from being invisible, they are also comfortable as they have no wires poking around. They are removable so can be conveniently removed while eating, and brushing. So you can now enjoy your meal without your braces holding you back. It is easier to keep your teeth clean too unlike metal braces. Various studies have also shown great improvement in gum health with clear aligner treatment.
Regardless of whichever treatment option you choose, it is very to maintain proper oral hygiene. Throughout the treatment process, religiously brushing and flossing twice daily is extremely essential. So do not let your doubts cage you (like braces) from smiling wide, instead get K clear aligner treatment and smile fearlessly!