Underbites, also known as reverse bite or Class III malocclusion, is less common than an overbite, but still affects 10-20% of the population, from children to teens to adults. Underbites can become more prominent with age, and are identified by a patient having 3-dimensionally smaller upper jaw to lower jaw, causing the lower jaw to protrude further forward. It means the upper jaw has not grown long enough, wide enough or deep enough to fit the other proportions of your face, or match the lower jaw.
Underbites range in severity, which also means the associated symptoms of having an underbite can be mild or extreme. Having a small upper jaw can cause ill-positioning of the tongue that can create airflow issues, resulting in snoring, regular loss of breath (particularly through low level physical activity) and Sleep Apnoea. It can also cause jaw pain and even premature degeneration of teeth.
Mild underbites can be aesthetically corrected with orthodontics, but jaw surgery is required to fix moderate to extreme underbites, and to fix the health issues underbites create.
We suggest LeFort surgery for underbites, to normalise the bite, open up the airways and establish ideal facial proportions. LeFort moves the upper jaw into a position that complements the lower jaw, balancing how the teeth meet when chewing, biting and smiling, minimising the potential for tooth wear and jaw joint pain.