Smile Questions: Can Your Underbite Get Worse?

Learning a Little More About Bad Bites

young boy smiling with braces in paramus nj

Orthodontics can be tricky, and when it comes to straightening smiles, there are all kinds of ways that your teeth can tango. The placement of your teeth impacts everything from chewing to the appearance of your smile.

One of the most common tooth troubles that an orthodontist will tackle is underbite treatment. Today, your favorite ortho experts at Pachter are going to cover what causes this type of bite, whether it gets worse, and what you can do to treat jaw pain (and more) with your orthodontist. It’s time to talk teeth!

What is an Underbite?

Bad bites are never fun, and underbites are no different. An underbite is a funky bite caused by a misalignment of your lower and upper jaw. When your upper teeth are partially or fully covered by your lower teeth, it’s called an underbite.

Bad bites come in all shapes and sizes and can develop for several different reasons, including genetics and bone growth issues. However, underbites often happen due to childhood behaviors, like thumb-sucking and pacifier overuse. Parents need to pay attention to how children are eating and behaving as they grow to spot (and correct) factors that lead to jaw growth problems.

Problems Caused By Underbites

Having an underbite makes it hard to live your best smile and stay positive about sharing it with the world. Moderate to severe underbites can cause many kinds of physical and mental health problems for both adults and children, including:

  • Jaw Pain
  • Headache
  • Painful Chewing
  • Trouble Speaking
  • Gum Disease and Tooth Decay
  • TMJ Syndrome
  • Low Confidence
  • Ear Pain

As you can see, underbite treatment is about way more than just correcting teeth. Getting bite problems treated with your dentist or orthodontist can be positively transformative!

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Can Underbites Get Worse?

The short answer? Yes! The earlier that your underbite is treated, the better. Growing up means dealing with a lot of changes – and your mouth is no exception. The teenage years (and those pesky growth spurts) affect jaw growth the most, and many people find that their underbite gets more serious during this period. Without braces, surgery, or other treatment, your condition will progress and start causing problems with your smile.

Talking to Your Doctor

If your dentist or orthodontic office thinks that you may be developing an underbite, then it’s time to work on talking about treatments for your mouth. The longer you go without addressing it, the harder treatment will be and the more your day-to-day life with be affected.

Underbite Treatments

Treatment for your underbite depends on how severe the issue is. Sometimes, braces or Invisalign can gradually shimmy things back into place and realign your smile. In more serious cases, jaw surgery may be required.

In children who are still growing, jaw growth can be corrected by using either a palate expander, a chin cap to restrict lower jaw growth, or a reverse-pull face mask (to pull the upper jaw forward and out).

Treatment with Pachter Orthodontics

If you think that you or your young one are starting to develop an underbite, then it’s time for us to meet your family and see how Pachter Orthodontics can help you achieve the smiliest smile on the block. Thanks to the power of braces and Invisalign treatment, we can stop underbites in their tracks and help you straighten your smile! Get started with a free consultation at Pachter Orthodontics in Paramus, NJ, or Middletown, NY.

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