If you have a malpositioned bite, such as an overbite or underbite, the Center for Oral and Facial Surgery at Glen Allen offers options to correct the position of your jaw and resolve your condition. Dr. Mauricio Herrera specializes in treating even the most difficult cases of oral malocclusion. If you suffer from an overbite or underbite in Insbrook, Glen Allen, or Shore Pump, our team wants you to be aware of the causes and treatment for these issues:
An overbite occurs when your front teeth overlap your bottom teeth. Most overbites are caused by genetic factors, such as the overall shape and size of your jaw or teeth. If the jaw area is too large and the teeth are small, your teeth will be spaced too far apart, and an overbite can occur. Conversely, large teeth and a small jaw area can lead to crooked teeth and can also contribute to an overbite.
There are a few other developmental factors that can also contribute to an overbite. Habits like thumb sucking and overuse of pacifiers or baby bottles can cause the tongue to push against the back of the teeth, producing an overbite. In teens and adults, chewing pencils, nails and other non-food objects can also contribute to an overbite.
If left untreated, an overbite may cause issues like damage to the teeth due to improper bite position, TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder), headaches, and discomfort or pain when eating or biting.
An underbite is, as the name implies, the opposite of an overbite. It occurs when your bottom teeth jut out beyond your upper teeth. It’s also sometimes called a “prognathism.”
Genetics play the biggest role in determining whether or not you may have an underbite. However, habits like thumb sucking, tongue thrusting (an improper swallowing technique) and long-term pacifier or bottle use can contribute to the development of an underbite in children.
While some minor underbites are nothing more than a cosmetic issue, a more severe underbite can cause serious issues when chewing and biting food, cause speech impediments, and lead to oral and facial pain due to jaw misalignment. It can also cause damage to your teeth due to the malpositioning of the jaw, and lead to issues with your facial appearance, due to an overly-prominent jaw.
Most mild cases of jaw malocclusion can be treated with orthodontics, like braces and headgear. However, in cases where the jaw is seriously misaligned, orthognathic surgery may be required.
By shortening or lengthening the jaw, and using wires, plates, and screws to strengthen and reshape the jawbone, Dr. Herrera can realign the position of your jaw and correct the issue.
If you have an underbite or an overbite, and you believe that you could benefit from oral surgery, contact the Center for Oral and Facial Surgery at Glen Allen. Dr. Herrera can provide you with a comprehensive consultation, and help you understand which treatment may be the best option for re-aligning your jaw and eliminating your overbite or underbite. Give us a call at (804) 556-1233, or come to our office at 4805 Lake Brook Drive, Suite #150, Glen Allen, Virginia 23060 to schedule your appointment.