An underbite is a common problem where when you close your mouth, your lower front teeth are positioned in front of your upper front teeth. When you have a correct bite, your upper front teeth will be positioned in front of your lower front teeth. An underbite is often caused when the lower jaw is too far forward.
Sometimes an underbite is genetic, so if your parents or siblings have an underbite, there is a chance you will too. An underbite can be caused by an injury or childhood habits. Children with an excessive thumb sucking habit or who used a pacifier after age three are more likely to develop an underbite. An oral habit called tongue thrusting, where people push their tongue against their front teeth, can cause jaw problems. Severe injury can damage the jawbone, causing teeth to become misaligned, so the lower jaw protrudes.
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It can be harder to chew your food properly if you have an underbite. Speaking clearly can also become an issue. When your teeth are misaligned, they can be harder to keep clean. Additionally, any form of malocclusion where your teeth do not bite together properly can cause teeth to wear down more quickly. Poor oral hygiene and excessive wear and tear on your teeth can cause problems such as tooth decay. Your teeth need to bite together correctly to prevent a jaw joint disorder called temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD. When teeth are misaligned, it places pressure on the jaw joints so they can become inflamed and painful.
Often Invisalign clear aligners can correct an underbite, depending on its severity. Treatment will work best to correct mild underbites. More severe cases of an underbite might require surgery and Invisalign treatment. We can refer you to our experienced oral maxillofacial surgeon, who we trust to take care of you if this is the case. They will assess your bite and can discuss all possible options, including surgery, with you in more detail.
If you only have a mild underbite, Invisalign can correct this problem within a few months. More moderate or severe underbites may take 12 months or longer to correct.