Underbite

Georgetown Orthodontics

Maya Oliver, DDS

Orthodontist located in Washington, DC

Having an underbite can make biting and chewing incredibly difficult, in addition to causing you to feel self-conscious about your smile. With the help of top-ranked orthodontist Maya V. Oliver, DDS, you can receive innovative underbite corrections at Georgetown Orthodontics in Washington, DC. Find out which type of underbite treatment is right for you or your child by booking an evaluation. You can conveniently schedule an appointment online or over the phone.

Underbite Q & A

What causes an underbite?

An underbite is a condition in which your lower arch extends outward beyond your upper front teeth. In many cases, having an underbite is an inherited trait. But you can also develop an underbite due to:

  • Thumbsucking
  • Tongue thrusting
  • Pacifier use after the age of 3
  • Long-term bottle feeding after infant years

As an adult, you can develop an underbite due to injury to the face, like if you broke your jawbone, or if you have a tumor in your jawbone.

Why do I need treatment for an underbite?

Your lower teeth are supposed to fit comfortably behind your upper teeth so that your molars rest perfectly on top of one another. This sort of proper alignment is essential for effective chewing. If you have an underbite, you need treatment to lower your risk of:

  • Jaw pain
  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Sleep apnea
  • Tooth fractures
  • Speech difficulties
  • Altered facial appearance
  • Cheek, lip, or tongue biting
  • Discomfort while chewing or biting

Whether you or your child have a minor or more severe underbite condition, you have plenty of options for treatment at Georgetown Orthodontics.

How is an underbite treated?

When you meet with Dr. Oliver at Georgetown Orthodontics, she looks at in-house digital X-rays (if needed) and examines you or your child to determine which type of underbite treatment is going to be most effective. Some of the most common underbite treatments are described below.

Braces

Dr. Oliver may suggest braces as a treatment for underbite. Braces align the misaligned teeth, correcting an underbite.

Tooth extraction

Tooth extraction can relieve the crowding in order for the bite to come together more naturally.

Upper jaw expander

An upper jaw expander is a wire frame that’s custom designed to fit across your palate (roof of your mouth). You use a specialized key to widen the expander in tiny increments daily or several times throughout the week. This treatment gradually forces your upper arch to widen enough to where your lower teeth can no longer close on the outside of your upper arch.

Reverse-pull facemask

The reverse-pull facemask, which is similar to headgear for braces, wraps around your head. This underbite treatment involves attaching metal bands to your upper back teeth, so the device can gently pull your upper jaw into proper alignment.

Orthognathic (jaw) surgery

Orthognathic jaw surgery is a personalized procedure that involves separating your jawbones and making personalized modifications to correct your jaw alignment. At Georgetown Orthodontics, Dr. Oliver offers comprehensive preoperative care if surgery is needed, then refers you to a local leading oral surgeon for surgery.

After your orthognathic surgery, Dr. Oliver ensures that you are healing properly and she will

administer any additional orthodontic treatment you or your child may need. No matter which type of treatment is right for you, at Georgetown Orthodontics, you can expect personalized adult or pediatric underbite correction, so you can achieve a healthy bite and smile.

Book your underbite examination at Georgetown Orthodontics today. Request an appointment online, or call the office to book an appointment.