An open bite is a dental condition among many that refers to issues with the alignment of teeth. In the case of an open bite, you will find that patients who suffer from the problem have bottom and upper teeth that do not overlap.
Typically, in this type of malocclusion, your bottom and upper teeth will curve creating an opening in the center, which is where the condition gets its name.
In the following article, we will address the causes of this type of malocclusion and ways you can correct it.
What Is an Open Bite?
An open bite refers to a specific type of malocclusion or dental misalignment where the front teeth never touch even when the patient closes their mouth. This type of misalignment exclusively affects the front teeth, leaving a permanent space between the upper teeth and bottom teeth.
In the case of children, this type of malocclusion is usually what we call pacifier teeth. Pacifier teeth in children can develop into a permanent open bite in adults. However, not all cases of open bite started as pacifier teeth.
This type of malocclusion may look harmless, but it can cause many side effects. For instance, patients with this condition can expect to experience pain, oral hygiene concerns, and even gum disease.
What Causes an Open Bite?
Many factors can cause open bite, but we’ll discuss some of the most common causes.
1- Bad Habits
Bad habits are only a factor for children. As we discussed above, the condition of pacifier teeth can develop into a permanent open. Of course, this is only if parents do not help the child leave the hairs causing the open bite before the permanent teeth come through. We talk about this in detail in our pacifier teeth article.
Some of these bad habits include using pacifiers past the age of 3-4 as well as thumb sucking. Children must leave those habits before their permanent teeth come through.
Continuing to use pacifiers or resuming thumb sucking as the permanent teeth come through will cause them to grow around the pacifier or the thumb. In other words, this will cause an open bite.
Genetics is another common cause of malocclusion. Sometimes, even without adopting poor habits in your childhood, you can still get an open bite. This has to do with the anatomy of your jaw, its structure, and its growth.
Open Bite Side Effects
- Speech issues such as a lisp
- Self-esteem issues
- Difficulty chewing and biting
- Gum and periodontal disease
- Digestive issues because of chewing problems.
How to Fix an Open Bite?
when it comes to fixing an open bite, the field of dentistry offers a wide array of treatment options depending on your needs and preferences. Some of the best treatments for open bite include the following:
Orthodontics is one of the most popular treatment options for any type of malocclusion. The treatment applies pressure strategically to cause your teeth to shift into the proper alignment.
The best thing about this treatment option is the diversity of its options. For a lot of people, braces are an issue because of their bulky metallic appearance. But there are alternatives and ways to get around this issue.
For instance, you have lingual braces, which are braces that your dentist places on the back side of your teeth. Because of their placement, these braces will hardly be visible to anyone, making them an ideal option for adults.
Likewise, you have the Invisalign, many people wonder “can Invisalign fix open bite?” The answer is yes. The Invisalign works the same way braces do and so it can fix an open bite. This is another great option for individuals who do not like the bulky aesthetic of traditional braces.
Veneers are another feasible option for treating an open bite. veneers are slim ceramic shells that go on the front of your teeth to eclipse a wide array of dental mishaps. While they usually can correct any issue, when it comes to malocclusion the story is different.
With misalignment, veneers can only work with mild to moderate cases. Otherwise, it is better to look into orthodontics.
One of the many reasons braces are popular is that they provide instantaneous results. Your dentist will file down your teeth to make room for the veneers. Following this, they will cement the veneers to your teeth and cure them to ensure they’re secure.
This option will not only correct your open bite, but also any other dental mishaps you suffer from.