What Causes an Underbite? 

Underbite treatment in children can be a lengthy process and sometimes even painful. Are underbites always hereditary and if so, what measures will we need to take to correct it.

by Nima Hajibaik Sunday, March 01, 2015
It's hard to completely determine what causes underbites. What is an underbite? It is categorized as prognathism, a.k.a. "bad bite? by orthodontists. Underbites can be caused in various ways:

  • Tongue thrusting, where the child constantly presses, or thrusts his or her tongue against the bottom teeth is a fairly common occurrence;
  • Mouth breathing, due to excessive allergies or conditions of the nasal passages that prevent proper air flow;
  • Poor dental hygiene or missing teeth can play an important role;
  • Differentiation between growth of the upper and lower jaws, causing bite problems;
  • But the number one reason for underbite in children is heredity.

Are Underbites Hereditary?
Heredity plays an important role in whom and who will not develop an underbite and the condition seems to be more common among certain ethnicities who are predisposed to the malocclusion. As a parent, if you were born with an underbite, chances are good of passing this condition on due to genetic factors that make up our DNA.

There is not much a parent can do to prevent this from occurring in their children, but there are different approaches to underbite correction that can be addressed by a professional orthodontist at the right time. If it is particularly bothersome to you that your child may develop an underbite and you want a more definitive answer, your doctor can refer you to a genetic counselor for more insight.

If you feel your child is predisposed to developing an underbite, you should begin taking him or her to visit an orthodontist by the age of 8. The sooner you begin treatment, the better. Underbite treatment in children is much easier to manage because their bones have not fully developed yet. In some cases, it may be necessary for jaw surgery for severe underbite, but the likelihood of preventing this through early underbite orthodontic's treatment is very good. Correcting an underbite with braces is always preferable and can be easier accomplished when young.

Depending on the severity of the underbite, your child may also undergo further treatment that includes Maxillary Expansion by wearing an oral appliance that is fixed to the roof of their mouth. Or they may need the help of Reverse-Pull Headgear, also known as Protraction Headgear that consists of a facemask that rests on the forehead and chin and will also depend on the use of rubber bands for the underbite. A chin cap may also be needed with Reverse-Pull Headgear for more severe underbite.

Adults with underbite can seek treatment at any time. It's never too late to correct the problem. The process will most likely involve jaw surgery for severe underbite, but if you are considering having it corrected, a good orthodontist like Dr. Nima Hajibaik at Newpark Orthodontics in Alpharetta, Georgia can guide you toward the best course of prognathism treatment that will work best to benefit you.

Dr. Nima Hajibaik is an Alpharetta orthodontist serving both children and adults; he is a board qualified orthodontist and a member of American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) and American Dental Association (ADA). Dr. Nima provides all orthodontic treatments including braces and Invisalign in Alpharetta, Roswell and Johns Creek and other nearby communities.

0    submitted by Nima Hajibaik
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