What is an open bite?

Open bite often occurs when some teeth are unable to make physical contact with the opposing teeth for a proper bite

What causes an open bite?

The basic issue is that the front teeth, both upper and lower are forced outwards to an extent that the teeth of the upper and the lower jaw do not touch each other, even when the mouth is closed.

Most often caused by a genetic abnormal jaw structure or excessive thumb-sucking, an open bite can cause poor or painful chewing, and even speech impairment. It can also lead to greater issues like thermo-mandibular joint disorder (TMJ).

Prominent culprits in this regard are thumb sucking, tongue thrusting and chewing on a pencil or some similar object.Prolonged and incorrect use of feeding bottles and pacifiers could also contribute to the development of the condition.

What problems can an open bite cause?

Any of the habits discussed above could cause the front teeth to flare out. Since the jaw is still developing, the teeth become misaligned. This condition could also be a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) where the patient suffers from chronic pain in the jaw and uses his tongue to push the teeth apart so that his jaw can be in a more comfortable position.

How do you treat an open bite problem?

While correcting this condition is relatively straightforward, the correction does not tend to be permanent. This is because straightening the teeth using braces enlarges the socket in the jaw.

As soon as the restraint offered by the brace is removed, the tongue gets back to work and pushes the teeth to their original position. It is quite clear, then, that the problem is best corrected early.

The best cure is to prevent the open bite from occurring in the first place. You can gently eliminate thumb sucking and reduce the dependence on the pacifier. If the treatment is delayed, the patient may end up with poor speech and an unattractive smile.

For more information about open bite treatments, please contact our office.