Different Types of Underbite Correction Treatments in Wyoming

Author: Espire Dental Posted: January 17th, 2023 Category:

Does your lower jaw protrude over your upper jaw? You could have an underbite. But don’t worry, as it can be fixed with various underbite correction treatments. 

Your jaw structure has a significant impact on your oral health. If your upper and lower jaw is correctly aligned, your upper teeth should extend only slightly over the lower teeth. But if the lower jaw juts out much farther than the upper jaw, you have an underbite, also known as a Class III malocclusion. In most cases, the misalignment is hardly noticeable and causes no problems. However, if the underbite is severe, it can make speaking and chewing difficult while causing several other dental issues. 

Adults and children can safely undergo underbite correction treatments. However, treatment is generally most effective at a young age when bones are still growing and can be shifted into proper alignment. If you or your child are dealing with an underbite, you can seek one of several underbite corrections treatments at Espire Dental’s Wyoming office. Let’s first go over what causes an underbite and how it can be corrected.

What causes an underbite?

An underbite can develop due to several factors. Here are four probable causes:

Genetics. Like eye and hair color, we inherit our jaw structure from our parents. If a parent has an underbite, their child may also be born with the same malocclusion.

Childhood habits. Thumb sucking, using a pacifier after age three, or continually pushing on their teeth with their tongue can cause a child to develop an underbite. Feeding with a bottle well after the child is an infant can also affect how the jaw grows.

Injury. An injury to the jaw can result in an underbite. Even after the jaw is surgically repaired and healed, the jawbone may remain permanently damaged. An underbite will develop if the lower and upper jaw no longer fit together. 

Tumor. If a tumor grows in the lower jawbone, it may force the lower jaw to protrude over the upper jaw.

What are some underbite correction treatments?

In addition to interfering with speaking and eating, an underbite can cause severe jaw pain. A noticeable underbite can cause a child or adult to feel self-conscious about their appearance. Moreover, brushing and flossing can be challenging with an underbite, increasing the risk of decay, gum disease, and bad breath. An underbite can also interfere with sleeping habits, causing snoring and sleep apnea.

An orthodontist or oral surgeon at Espire Dental can suggest several corrective treatments to align the lower and upper jaws. The earlier treatment is initiated, the more successful the outcome will be.

Braces. Braces, made of metal or clear plastic, can effectively correct an underbite. You’ll wear braces for about two years, and your orthodontist will recommend wearing a retainer afterward. 

Tooth extraction. Too many teeth along the lower jaw can also cause an underbite. Removing some of the extra teeth may fix the underbite.

Headgear. Several types of headgear or face masks can be fitted around the face to pull the lower and upper jaw into alignment. These devices must be worn most of the day, requiring a commitment. Although headgear is best when fitted when the child is ten or younger, it can also work for teenagers.

Jaw expander: In this method, a wire frame device is placed across the palate. Gradually the upper jaw expands enough, so the lower teeth don’t close over the outside of the upper teeth. A jaw expander is recommended for teens and adults but is most effective for younger children. 

Cosmetic dentistry. A mild underbite can be fixed by reshaping the lower teeth and placing veneers on the upper teeth. While this won’t correct the underbite, this method can make the underbite less noticeable and improve speaking and eating.

Surgery. In adults with an underbite, surgery to reshape either the upper or lower jaw is a viable option. One such procedure, orthognathic jaw surgery, modifies the lower jawbone by separating the jaw’s rear and front parts and then repositioning the bone. 

Visit an Espire Dentist in Wyoming

Schedule an appointment at Espire’s Casper, Wyoming, location today! Our highly trained dentists and orthodontists can correct all orthodontic issues, including an underbite. Don’t live near our Casper, Wyoming, office? Find one of our other locations near you.

Casper, Wyoming
1530 Centennial Ct. 
Suite A 
Casper, WY 82609