Living with an underbite is tough. Not only does it alter your facial structure and impair your smile, but it also comes with various long-term dental difficulties. Don’t let this condition dim your smile. Set an appointment with an experienced orthodontist in Mission Viejo to correct your underbite permanently, reverse its adverse effects, and boost your confidence!

What is an underbite?

An underbite, also known as mandibular prognathism, happens when the lower teeth extend forward due to the structure of the lower jaw.  The protrusion is typically longer than the front of the upper jaw, resulting in lower teeth and chin prominence.

dental brackets on teeth close up during orthodontic treatment

An underbite varies depending on the size of the gap. In mild underbites, the upper and lower teeth almost meet. If the two rows don’t meet at all, thus causing facial distortion and speech problems, the underbite is considered severe.

Causes of Underbites

Misalignment of the jaw is the core cause of an underbite. This may be caused by the following:

  • Genetics (e.g., being born with impact teeth, cleft lip, etc.)
  • Facial injuries involving jawbone damage
  • Tumors in the mouth or on the jawbones
  • Childhood habits (e.g., thumb sucking, pushing teeth with the tongue, etc.)

Effects of Underbites

If left untreated, an underbite can cost you your oral health, smile, and confidence. Explore orthodontic treatments with your dentist in Laguna Niguel immediately to avoid dealing with the following:

  • Halitosis

A misaligned bite can impair your ability to breathe properly and increase your risk for mouth breathing syndrome. This is a condition wherein an individual depends more on their mouth to breathe instead of their nose. Halitosis or bad breath is common among sufferers of mouth breathing syndrome.

  • Sleep Conditions

Aside from halitosis, mouth breathing syndrome can also keep you from sleeping through the night. It makes you more susceptible to snoring, asthma, and sleep apnea.

  • Chronic Jaw or Joint Pain

As the upper teeth push against the lower teeth, the jaw joint pressure increases. This may result in a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.

  • Self-Consciousness

An underbite affects the facial structure and expressions, which can bring down the confidence and mental health of those who are conscious of their appearance.

  • Speech Difficulties

Words with letters that depend on the teeth, such as the “f” and “s,” are difficult to say with an underbite. This will have an impact on your social relations and self-esteem.

  • Chewing Problems

Misalignment of teeth causes enamel wear, tooth chipping, tooth decay, infections, and gum disease. These affect not only your eating experience but also your overall oral health.

Orthodontic Treatments for Underbites

An orthodontist in Mission Viejo corrects underbites with advanced technology and expert treatment. Orthodontic screening for underbites is best done as early as seven years old to prevent long-term damage to the teeth. Here are the top solutions for this bad bite:

  • Reverse-Pull Face Mask

This treatment is for children. A reverse face mask looks like a brace headgear. It pulls the upper jaw back to the right position with metal bands that are attached to the upper back teeth.

  • Upper Jaw Expander

This involves fitting a wire-frame device across the patient’s palate and expanding it slightly every night using a special key. The upper jaw expander will gradually widen the upper jaw to fix the gap due to underbite. Patients wear the expander for a year before replacing it with a retainer.

  • Jaw Surgery

Unlike other procedures, this is performed by an oral surgeon in Mission Viejo, CA and not an orthodontist. The surgeon will separate the bone in the back part of the jaw from the front section and modify it. This typically involves repositioning the lower jaw farther back.

Get Rid of Your Underbite Today

Don’t leave your underbite untreated. Restore your confidence and prevent complications due to dental misalignment with the help of a top orthodontist in Mission Viejo. Visit the best dental clinic in your area now to get the appropriate corrective procedure for your smile!

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