Published on February 12, 2022, Updated on May 3, 2024

An underbite is a dental word that refers to a protruding lower jaw. This results in an extension of the lower jaw beyond the upper teeth. The degree of the underbite varies from moderate to severe. A slight underbite occurs when the lower jaw overlaps the upper jaw, whereas a severe underbite occurs when the teeth do not contact due to the gap being so large. Further read about Bite Alignment.

What Causes an Underbite? | Types of Underbites | What issues does an underbite cause? | How to Treat an Underbite | Overbite Vs Underbite

What Causes an Underbite?

Your teeth typically develop in such a manner that the top teeth fit over the lower teeth. The molars should be able to fit together. However, various variables contribute to the development of this illness.

Listed below are a few of them:


If you have a family member who also has this ailment, you are more likely to get it. Additionally, genetics determine a person’s jaw form, tooth shape, and size.

As a result, some teeth are born with teeth that are too close together, impacted, do not grow all of their teeth (hypodontia), are irregularly shaped, overjet, or do not fit together.

Childhood Habits

Certain childhood behaviors may have a role in the development of an underbite. These behaviors include the following:

  • Thumb sucking (can also cause tongue thrust.)
  • Nail biting
  • Extended use of pacifier or bottle.
  • Using the tongue to push the teeth
  • Poor oral hygiene practices (which also causes dental plaque and tooth decay)


Serious injuries to the jawbones may result in permanent damage. Although it is often feasible to restore a fractured jawbone, even after surgical realignment, the jaws seldom fit perfectly.


Tumors in the jawbones or mouth may cause the jaws to protrude, resulting in an underbite.

Types of Underbites

There are two types of underbites.

Dental underbites are a kind of tooth misalignment that occurs when a crossbite develops at the front of the mouth rather than on the sides. Although the teeth are somewhat forward, the lower jaw is not protruding.

Skeletal underbites Skeletal underbite develops as a result of jawbone deformity. Typically, this form of malocclusion is present at birth (genetic).

What issues does an underbite cause?

An underbite is not only an aesthetic concern. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the more serious this issue is, the more likely it is to create oral health concerns such as the following:

  • Speech issues
  • Difficulty in chewing the food
  • Pain in the mouth and face as a result of malocclusion.
  • Sleep apnea
  • Tooth enamel wear that is excessive
  • Chronic mouthbreathing
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Prognathism

Additionally, when you have a prominent underbite, your confidence will suffer.

How to Treat an Underbite

Misaligned teeth are very common. Many children have them especially when tooth eruption has taken place and adults have it too even when all permanent teeth have erupted. Clinical medicine is incapable of treating underbite alone; thus, allow Oral Health Center to assist you in resolving your underbite issues.

Below are some of those benefits:

  • It is easier to brush and floss your teeth.
  • Avoids the risk of diseases of the gums.
  • There will be less tension on the jaws, teeth, and face muscles as a result.
  • Reduce the risk of developing a dental abscess.
  • It reduces the risk of breaking a tooth or tooth loss
  • Reduces the likelihood of having temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)

The only method to correct this issue is for a specialist to align it. Correcting this problem need the assistance of an orthodontist. Dr. Pooja Banga can correct your underbite with one of the following procedures:

Braces – It is the most often used orthodontics treatment for underbite. Dental braces are not inconspicuous and may be apparent while speaking or smiling. This issue is resolved using clear aligners.

Appliances – Certain appliances are effective in treating such a disease. These are custom-made to fit your mouth and may sometimes be painful because to their greater visibility than braces. When orthodontic therapy is essential, orthodontists will suggest it.

The reversed full facemask is an example of an orthodontic device. This item is comparable to orthodontic headgear that is worn around the head. To correct an underbite with this approach, metal bands are attached to the upper back teeth, allowing the device to gently pull the upper jaw into perfect alignment.

The upper jaw expander is another form of dental device. The upper jaw expander is a screw-in device that fits over the upper jaw’s rear teeth. The objective is to increase the width of the upper jaw, enlarge the dental arch, and reposition the teeth inside the bone. This, however, is dependent on the pathology of the maxilla and mandible. Know about transparent bracket and porcelain veneers for teeth.

Tooth Extraction – If there are too many lower teeth that causes it to protrude, tooth extraction might fix the underbite by having the teeth pulled so that biting can come together more naturally.

Surgery – This should only be used as a last resort if the orthodontist considers that all other treatment options have failed. This occurs seldom, since surgical surgery of an underbite is sometimes unnecessary.

Orthognathic surgery is a kind of jaw surgery. This form of surgery is very customized and entails splitting your jawbones and making customized adjustments to your jaw alignment.

If you have cleft lip and palate, you may need surgery prior to addressing your underbite. Learn about anterior.

Overbite Vs Underbite

When your mouth is closed, an overbite occurs when your upper teeth overlap your lower teeth excessively. This issue is often seen in individuals who have a smaller jaw or whose lower jaw is shorter than their upper jaw. Braces treatment is one of the better ways to close the gap in teeth.

When your mouth is closed, an underbite occurs when your lower jaw lies in front of your upper jaw. When you have this issue, you typically have the appearance of a projecting chin, but this may be more muted in less severe instances. Schedule an appointment.