closeup up person with braces

What Causes Underbites?


When you meet someone for the first time, one of the things you notice is their smile. It is a universal sign that all is well in the world - even if just for that one moment. But the power of a smile is only as strong as the confidence behind it. 

Those who are not confident about how their teeth look are much less likely to smile. And, sometimes, an underbite is to blame. 

What is an Underbite? 

An underbite is when your lower jaw extends out farther than your upper jaw. Or, when the bottom teeth overlap the upper teeth. Clinically, an underbite is referred to as a prognathism. And it is one of the most common bite problems that orthodontists face. 

Underbites can appear within a wide range of severity, from mild to severe. Mild underbites don’t usually fully overlap, but rather the two sets of teeth come close to meeting evenly. Severe underbites, on the other hand, are easily recognized by visibly seeing someone as it looks like they are trying to stick out their chin. 

Regardless of the severity, all underbites should be addressed by an orthodontic treatment.

What Causes an Underbite? 

Underbites can be caused for several reasons. It should be noted that most often these causes are due to the jaw bone rather than the teeth. So, what causes an underbite? Let’s take a look. 

Genetics. One of the biggest factors that contribute to underbites is genetics. Yes, an underbite is hereditary. And, those who have them usually have them from the moment they are born.  

Trauma or Injuries. Experiencing trauma to the face or jaw can result in an underbite. Treatment and healing that comes with things such as a broken jaw may not fit back together as it initially did, leaving the patient with an underbite or other misalignment issue

Can an Underbite Be Treated? 

Underbites can lead to jaws malalignment, chewing difficulties and negative effect on profile, smile and self esteem.  Addressing these issues as soon as possible can offer much relief. 

The good news is that underbites can be treated easily around the age of 7. Treatment type depends on the severity of the underbite and the age of the patient, the sooner the better. Mild underbites may only require braces or a chin cap, As its name suggests, it is fitted to the chin as part of a headpiece that is worn at night. The more it is worn, the more quickly aligned the upper and lower jaw become. 

More in-depth - non-invasive - treatments are available for individuals who have severe underbites. Such treatment includes functional appliances or an upper jaw expander with face mask to get Jaws aligned and feeling much, much better.

Learn More About Underbites At Castle Hills 3D Orthodontics

Whether an underbite is bothersome or not, individual should receive an orthodontic treatment as soon as possible around age seven to avoid Jaw surgery in the future. Over time, the misalignment may lead to more complex dental issues. If you think you may have an underbite or just think it is time to seek an orthodontic treatment, the professional team at Castle Hills 3D Orthodontics is here for you. 

Call 469-598-1700 today to schedule your evaluation. Or, request an appointment online.