What is an under-bite?

In introducing readers to the dental condition of the under-bite, emphasis is placed on what causes it and what can be done to prevent it. The motivation, of course, is that prevention is always better than the cure, and in so doing, ethical dental practices need to be utilized.

But this can only be put into practice once the reader makes the concerted effort to go for the first of many regular checkups. Both the underbite and the overbite are two forms of malocclusion or the proverbial bad bite.

When an underbite occurs, teeth of the lower dental arch tend to be more prominent than those located in the upper dental arch. An overlap occurs, and this subsequently leads to biting abilities being uneven and thus causing discomfort. When this occurs, there is usually an unsightly protrusion.

The occurrence of the underbite usually occurs at a young age, but there is nothing that formalized and recommended dental exams cannot correct, even at a young age for the patient. Childlike thumb sucking is a common cause of a variety of malocclusions.   

Now, it is usual and admirable to suggest that prevention is better than the cure. But this can be challenging for a child at a young age. Nevertheless, and particularly prevalent for the adults, corrective measures by way of orthodontic treatments are available.

All good and well, and this has been said on many occasions, regular dental checkups are imperative. But in order for it to have any significance, it needs to go beyond the rudimentary and formulaic procedures. For instance, there will be a discussion of the patient’s overall health and wellbeing.

Once diagnosed, the underbite correction should be a matter of priority. Left unchecked, the underbite will continue to enforce wear and tear on the dental construction and ultimately cause structural damage which then could only be corrected by teeth removals and replacements with dentures and implants.

A proper dental exam does the following. Teeth are cleaned. Cavities are checked for. Any signs of gum disease are also looked for. The exam goes beyond the oral structure by also looking at the face and neck for any abnormalities.

Upon diagnosing the root causes and suggesting what can be done about it, the ethical dental practitioner will engage with the patient on how to implement lifestyle changes that could enhance the health of the oral structure. Issues such as correct eating habits will be looked at.

The importance of regular checkups for adults cannot be emphasized enough, to say nothing of taking a young child to the dentist. Proper dental exams should also include the use of X-rays. The object of the exercise remains detecting potential problems before they need occur.

The worst that could happen is that remedial measures will be proposed. But such remedies will never occur unless the adult male or female has taken it upon him or herself to make a conscious and responsible effort to regularly schedule a dental exam.