Around 5-10% of people have a condition that is known as an underbite. Depending on the severity of the underbite a person has, there can be some risks associated with it to be considered. Listed below are the causes, risks, and treatment options for those who have an underbite.
What is an Underbite?
Underbite, also known as Mandibular Prognathism, occurs when a person's lower teeth extend out further than their upper teeth. Underbite generally causes people to have somewhat of a bulldog appearance due to their lower teeth overlapping their upper teeth.
Cause of an Underbite
An underbite is normally a hereditary condition. Being hereditary, most people that have this condition are born with the underbite. Certain ethnic groups are more likely to have an underbite such as people of Asian descent. Although usually hereditary, it can also be caused by certain childhood habits such as mouth breathing or by pushing the tongue against the lower teeth. Other childhood habits linked to an underbite are thumb sucking, using a pacifier in children older than age 3, and feeding on a bottle for a sustained amount of time after being an infant.
Risks of an Underbite
A small underbite doesn't pose many risks, it just alters a person's appearance slightly and doesn't impact oral health. More severe cases of underbite can cause difficulty chewing, speaking, and swallowing. Severe underbite can also cause chronic pain in the jaw which is known as Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome.
Treatment Options for an Underbite
If a person has an underbite, the only way to correct it is to seek medical attention. In more mild cases, a dentist can use braces to assist the teeth into realigning correctly. If a case is more severe, a dentist may recommend using surgery as a means to correct the underbite. The surgery would be performed by an oral surgeon and cost varies depending on the provider and insurance company. If you have an underbite, consider visiting Your Dental Office in Toronto, or Etobicoke, to find out the most suitable treatment options for you.
Although it is rare, an underbite is a condition that impacts roughly 5-10% of people. It has different causes and risks that are associated with it. It may impact your oral health if you have a severe underbite. Visit Your Dental Office in Toronto, or Etobicoke, if you have an underbite to learn about your specific treatment options. Contact us today to book an appointment.