What Causes an Underbite?
Genetics can play a major role in whether you develop an underbite. If one of your parents or grandparents had an underbite, there is a much larger chance that you will, too. In addition, certain ethnic groups are more likely to develop underbites, including those of Asian descent. A famous example of the genetic nature of this trait is the "Habsburg jaw." Many generations of the royal Habsburg family in Europe were known for their distinctive protruding lower jaws, which are believed to have been the result of an underbite.
What Else can Contribute to an Underbite?
Some factors, or habits can cause an underbite, such as:
- Tongue Thrusting—constant thrusting of the tongue against the teeth can move your smile out of position and cause an underbite.
- Childhood Habits—habits such as thumb sucking and pacifier use in early childhood can also affect the way the jaw develops.
- Mouth Breathing—breathing through your mouth forces the tongue to rest against the lower jaw and increases the chance of an underbite.