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Underbite is when the lower teeth protrude in front of the upper teeth.  This is also known as prognathism and is generally rated a class three form of malocclusion.  Underbite is a lot rarer than overbite, although the causes are generally very similar. 
Underbite is thought to be caused by:

  • Problems through development caused by thumb sucking or over-use of a dummy or pacifier
  • Trauma or a tumour
  • Overgrowth of the lower jaw
  • Missing or overdeveloped teeth

Underbite Problems

Underbite tends to be treated more seriously than overbite.  The consequences of leaving it untreated can be worse, for example:

  • Problems with chewing
  • Digestion problems
  • Jaw joint problems
  • More susceptible to bite the tongue
  • Gum damage to the lower gums

Treatment for Underbite

Like all surgeries, you will be examined extensively and X-rayed before any treatments take place.  This ensures that the orthodontist and dentist both know what is going on, and can decide upon the best treatment plan for you.

The treatments for underbite are generally quite extreme and can take a long time to complete.  It might be the case that you have to have some, or many, teeth removing, or your jaw rectified using surgery.  You are best having treatments while you are young, and can easily adjust to changes made to your jaw alignment. 
If your dentist believes that something habitual has worsened your underbite they you will need to have this seen to.  Examples include tongue thrusting, tooth grinding and excessive breathing through the mouth.