Jaw Underbite Correction and Surgery Information

Posted on July 21st, 2013 by admin


The only difference between an overbite and an underbite is the location of the bite condition. A deep bite in the upper jaw is called an overbite, while one on the lower jaw is called an underbite. In an underbite condition, the lower teeth are positioned in front of the upper teeth, making the lower jaw seem much more prominent than it is.

Underbites are usually believed to be genetic, but there are also some other reasons associated with an underbite. These include prolonged use of pacifiers, thumb sucking or pressure exerted on the lower jaw by the tongue. Breathing through the mouth is another reason for the formation of an underbite.   A person suffering from nasal allergies or congestion may suffer from nasal blockages during sleep, and may be forced to breathe through the mouth.  Wrong chewing habits can worsen an underbite.

If your child has an underbite, you must begin treatment as quickly as possible. in the meantime, you can prevent an underbite from worsening, taking steps to lessen his dependence on pacifiers and thumb sucking.  This can avoid a lot of problems in the future.  An underbite may eventually result in temporomandibular joint disorder which impacts the temporomandibular joint, resulting in pain while opening the mouth and a range of other symptoms.

The best age to treat an underbite is when the patient is about eight years old, as the jaw bone is tender and reshaping is a lot easier. In a patient aged about eight or below eight, the need for surgery can easily be avoided.  At this age, the lower jaw can be suitably shaped to form a normal bite with the use of an expander. An expander is a device that comes with a turnkey, and must be worn for a specified number of hours every day. This expanding of the jaw generally goes on for about two or three months.
If the child is about eight or nine, and an expander may not seem effective in treatment of an underbite, the dentist may use a “reverse-pull face mask”.  This looks quite similar to a catcher’s mask, and is meant to be worn for a few hours a day.  Your child can wear it after school or while sleeping.  

If the underbite is very deep, your child may be fitted with a chin cap. This is used to control the growth of your child’s lower chin.  The reverse-pull face mask and the chin cap may be worn for about a year or as recommended by your dentist.  After treatment with the reverse-pull face mask and the chin cap has concluded, your child may still need to continue wearing braces for between one and three more years, followed by another retainer for at least two years to maintain the perfect bite.
 
In case of an adult, surgery may be the only option. Most adults will require surgery to correct an underbite, because the underbite has already become skeletal. If the orthodontist decides on surgery, you may be asked to wear braces for about a year prior to that surgery. You will also be required to wear braces for about six to nine months after the surgery.


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