In some cases, no matter how good you take care of your teeth, particular dental issues can be caused by genetics. One of those issues is an underbite. But, just because it's not preventable doesn't necessarily mean you have to live with it for your entire life. Luckily, some treatment options are available for you if you have an underbite. When a person's lower jaw extends out farther than their upper jaw, creating an overly protruded and pronounced lower jaw, this is an underbite.
Because underbites are less common than overbites, people who have them tend to become self-conscious. A chin that is protruding can lead to people being ridiculed as children. The top and bottom need to be aligned to make certain sounds that start with the letter "f" or "s." When your teeth aren't lined up, pronouncing these letters can be challenging. When someone's lower lip is dominant, it can lead to a droopy smile and make it challenging to smile usually. Even chewing becomes problematic when your teeth are misaligned. People whose underbite is severe are at an increased risk of choking because they cannot chew their food up properly before they swallow. Your jaw is always trying to align your teeth when you have an underbite, leading to increased pressure that causes jaw pain and headaches. People who have underbites also have a greater chance of developing TMJ. An underbite impacts someone's daily activities like smiling and chewing, to long-term mental and physical health issues.
Correcting an Underbite
Luckily, surgery isn't the only option for correcting an underbite. A palatal expander is a device that's placed on the mouth's roof and widened each night. Over time, this device increases the dental arch's size and aligns the lower and upper jaws. A reverse-pull face mask resembles braces headgear and wraps around your head. It is attached to metal bands on the back of the upper teeth and pulls the upper jaw forward in line with the lower jaw. A chin cap device wraps around the chin ad lower jaw to prevent it from expanding out even further. Tradition braces can be used to correct mild cases of underbites. Another option is veneers placed on the upper teeth to make the upper and lower jaw appear to be aligned. But, this is only recommended for people who don't have severe underbites.
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