Underbites-More Common Than You Think
When dentists discuss problems of overbite and underbite, we think of the position of the upper jaw and the lower jaw with respect to each other. When an overgrowth of the upper jaw causes it to protrude while the lower jaw is in a normal position, we call this an overbite. When the upper jaw is normal but the lower jaw is underdeveloped — the problem you’re asking about — we refer to an underbite. It is also possible to be affected by both an overbite and an underbite at the same time.
To answer your question, there are a number of ways to treat an underbite. I recommend that you first see a qualified orthodontist who can X-ray your jaw to determine whether the lower jaw is too small or the upper jaw too big. From there, a diagnosis can be made and a treatment plan designed, and a decision can be made as to whether surgery is necessary to reduce the size of one or both jaws and realign them so they fit properly. Usually, such a procedure, called orthognathic surgery, is performed in conjunction with orthodontic therapy. The larger, or gross, changes are brought about surgically, and the more detailed, finer changes are completed by the orthodontist. Sometimes orthodontics is started first and is followed with jaw surgery, then further orthodontics and bite adjustments.
It can be a complicated process, so it’s important to find a team of dental professionals you trust, including a good general dentist, an orthodontist, and an oral surgeon, who will work together to advise you on different sources of treatment and follow through with excellent care.