According to Iqaluit Dental Clinic, malocclusion such as underbite requires prompt treatment since it is not just a cosmetic issue and can result in various oral health problems. For instance, it can cause pain in the mouth and the face due to the misalignment of the jaw, create difficulty biting and chewing food, cause difficulty speaking, and more. It can be caused due to a variety of reasons such as genetics, injury, bad childhood habits such as thumb sucking, and more.
Let’s look at a few points that will help you to understand whether surgery is required to treat an underbite:
- The age of the patient – Generally, mild underbites can be corrected without surgery if the treatment starts when the patient is still young. If the symptoms of underbite are noticed at an early age, parents still need to wait until the child is about 7 years old since that’s when their permanent teeth begin to erupt. This would allow the doctors to understand the jaw growth more clearly and manipulate it to prevent more serious problems. Treatment options include braces, jaw expanders, and facemasks that help to ease the lower teeth into the correct position over time.
However, for teenage and adult patients who have stopped growing, treating underbite without surgery can pose a challenge, especially if the condition is caused due to an injury or misaligned jaw. Mild forms of underbite are still treatable with braces if the main cause is misaligned teeth.
- The severity of the underbite – The only way to treat severe underbite or class 3 malocclusion is orthognathic surgery. Generally, these are caused due to genetics which can result in abnormally shaped teeth, or teeth that are impacted, very close to each other, or don’t fit together correctly.
Severe injuries to the face which result in jawbone damage can also result in underbite which requires surgical treatment to fix properly. Tumours in the mouth or on the jawbones which cause the jaws to protrude can also result in an underbite.
Even when the patients received treatment from an early age, they might still need to undergo surgery to fix or manage the symptoms of an underbite. An underbite surgery helps to correct an underbite by reshaping the lower jaw to shorten it or lengthen the upper jaw.
- Non-surgical treatment option for underbite – Dental aligners such as Invisalign are the most popular option among kids and adults since these are non-invasive and effective at treating mild underbites.
Jaw expanders are used for treating underbites that are caused due to skeletal tissue problems which result in smaller jaw size. This treatment option only works at an early age before the jaw sets completely.
Iqaluit Dental Clinic suggests you opt for non-surgical treatment options to treat your underbite if that is possible. Any type of surgery, including orthognathic surgery, comes with a lot of risks such as scarring, infection, bleeding problems, and more. Thus, it is recommended you reserve corrective surgery as the last option unless it’s severely affecting your daily life.