Non-Surgical Treatment Options For An Underbite
The alignment of your teeth and jaws plays an important role in your anatomy. An underbite can affect not only your physical appearance, but your health as well. Individuals with underbites have a hard time chewing food properly, increasing the risk of choking. An underbite can also lead to increased jaw pain and the development of TMJ.
You may have been told that surgery is your only option for treating an underbite, but this simply isn't true. Advancements in modern dentistry have made it possible to correct mild underbites without the need for invasive surgery.
Braces or Veneers
If you have an extremely mild underbite, you may be able to utilize braces or veneers to correct your alignment problem. Veneers can be added to the upper teeth to alter the shape of the teeth themselves. This can bring the upper and lower teeth into alignment with one another.
Braces can also be helpful in moving the natural teeth so that the upper and lower teeth are better aligned with one another. Your dentist will be able to determine if your underbite is mild enough to be treated with braces or veneers.
Patients who are still developing can benefit from the use of a chin cap to help correct an underbite. A chin cap is a special device that wraps around the chin and lower jaw to help curb any further extension of the underbite. This gives the upper jaw time to grow and adjust, ultimately leading to better jaw alignment over time.
Children and teens can benefit most from the use of a chin cap to treat an underbite.
Upper Jaw Expander
If you have already reached adulthood and the severity of your underbite means you are not a candidate for braces or veneers, then you should talk to you dentist about an upper jaw expander.
These are devices that are placed on the roof of the mouth while you sleep at night. The device is widened gradually over the course of your treatment. The widening of the device leads to an increase in the size of your dental arch. This brings the upper and lower jaws into better alignment once the treatment is complete.
Thanks to advancements in dental technology, you don't have to live with an underbite. Talk to your dentist about possible non-surgical options for correcting an underbite that is negatively affecting your health and self-esteem. Contact a clinic, like William U Britton DDS MAGD, for more help.