Reliable Underbite Treatment in Honolulu, on Oahu

If you find yourself struggling with an underbite, Dr. Keri Do and Dr. Malcolm Choy can help. At Manoa Dental, we offer non-surgical options that rejuvenate your smile, enhance your health, and improve your facial balance. Our practice is proud to serve the people of Honolulu, Oahu, and the greater Hawaiian Islands. If you or a loved one is seeking an effective underbite treatment in Honolulu, get in touch with our friendly team today to schedule your appointment!

What Is an Underbite?

before and after of underbite treatment by manoa dentalAn underbite (otherwise known as prognathism) occurs when your bottom jaw (mandible) extends ahead of the upper jaw (maxilla). It can affect your smile, your bite, your speech, and how your teeth come together when you chew. This type of malocclusion (misaligned bite) is most often classified as a class III malocclusion.

What Causes an Underbite?

An underbite could be caused by several factors, including genetics. However, one of the primary causes of an underbite is poor oral posture. Proper oral posture involves nasal breathing, proper swallowing function, and appropriate tongue position. The tongue is a very strong muscle. In normal jaw development, where the upper arch is well established, the tongue is positioned at the roof of the mouth when you speak or swallow.

When a person has an underbite, their tongue lies passively on the bottom jaw when they swallow or speak. The ensuing lack of pressure on the roof of the mouth inhibits the proper development of the upper jaw (the maxilla arch). The bottom jaw grows ahead of the upper jaw, which results in a class III malocclusion known as an underbite.

What Type of Problems Can an Underbite Cause?

An underbite can cause alignment issues. During normal dental development, the upper jaw (maxillary arch) is larger than the lower jaw (mandibular arch). In an underbite patient, the lower jaw is larger than the upper jaw, or the maxillary arch is shorter than the mandibular arch. As a result, there is a heavier bite in certain areas than others, causing the teeth to be worn down in certain areas. Other symptoms can including the following:

Dental Problems:

  • Fractured teeth
  • Chipped teeth
  • Bite misalignment
  • Excessive wear on the teeth
  • Uneven wear on the teeth
  • Jaw misalignment

With our Honolulu underbite patients, there is a lack of development of the midface (the cheeks, lips, nose area). This can result in the midface looking sunken and the patient appearing older than they are. Due to the maxilla's irregular shape, there is reduced support for the upper lip. The collapsed midface will also result in the lips appearing thinner since there is less support. Some other effects on facial development may include the following:

Facial Problems:

  • Collapse of the midface
  • Thin upper lips
  • Protruding jaw
  • Sunken eye
  • Short facial height

Functionally, the patient can develop TMJ symptoms such as jaw lock, jaw clicking, jaw popping, jaw pain, headaches, neck pain, ear or hearing problems, or dizziness. Some other symptoms may include the following:

Functional Problems:

  • Chewing and eating imbalance
  • Speech issues
  • Snoring and sleep apnea
  • TMJ symptoms

Underbite Treatment Without Surgery or Teeth Extractions:

close up of healthy smileYou may have had other orthodontic visits where the only underbite treatment choice was surgery. Some practices attempt to do orthodontic treatment that result in the underbite still being present after treatment or worsening. Dentists may attempt to correct the underbite by cutting down and placing crowns on all the front teeth. This hides the underbite since the location of the teeth is still the same, but their shape is thicker to simulate a fixed underbite. The teeth can have decreased longevity, and your oral health may be compromised as time passes.

Effective Underbite Treatments in Honolulu

When we treat your underbite, we resolve the underbite without surgery, teeth extractions, or teeth slicing. Our solution also develops the midface and resolves functional issues with your airway or TMJ disorder. You'll receive not only a straight bite but facial balance, beauty, an opened airway, and healthy TMJ. Contact Dr. Keri Do and Dr. Malcolm Choy at Manoa Dental to find out how we can help you!


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