What is an Open Bite?
For individuals who suffer with open bite teeth they may be worried about open bite surgery and suddenly finding out about all these new types of phrases that they are unfamiliar with such as anterior open bite, posterior open bite, dental open bite, and skeletal open bite. However, while these terms are often used without consideration that an individual may not fully understand their meaning, it is important to know the differences and the treatments so you can learn about the best options for open bite treatment in Miami so you can have your best smile when you look at your open bite before and after photos.
Let’s start with what are the most important things to know and what are the differences between the different types?
An open bite is pretty much as it sounds, it is where your bite is open. Your mouth may be closed and your teeth may be clenched together and yet there are still gaps between the connections of the top and the bottom teeth in some way. This is different than an overbite or an underbite where the misalignment is lateral causing the front teeth or the bottom teeth to overhang the top or bottom sets. However, in an open bite your teeth are aligned but for one reason or another there are still gaps between your front or back teeth causing poor or no connection which can lead to oral discomfort, irregular wearing on your teeth, and of course a smile that many of you find is aesthetically unpleasant.
What Are The Types of Open Bites?
One thing that many individuals may not know is what are the different kinds? Let’s do a quick summary of the different types:
- Dental open bite: misalignment of the teeth causing a gap commonly in the front usually due to soft tissue issues instead of skeletal issues.
- Anterior open bite: top and bottom front teeth do not touch. It is the lack of overlap or contact between maxillary and mandibular incisors (Tavares & Allgayer,2019).
- Posterior open bite: molars and back teeth do not connect.
- Skeletal open bite: when the jaw grows apart instead of growing in tandem together leading to the gap.
What Are the Causes of an Open Bite?
There are many different causes of an open bite, some which are genetic and others which are habitual. Some of the genetic problems may simply be a family characteristic where open bites run in the family, where the bones of the jaw simply do not grow correctly in tandem leading to either an anterior or posterior open bite. Sometimes an open bite may develop because of disease or degradation in the teeth, the jaw, or the soft tissues.
The other type which can be caused by habit is far more important to keep track of as these ones can actually be prevented before they cause serious problems by ensuring that these habits are minimized or not developed at all.
The big cause is thumb sucking or pacifier sucking. These have been known to cause open bites because the excessive keeping an object between the teeth during the formative stages causes the teeth to be open as the baby teeth and adult teeth come in. Mind you this is not something that occurs in just a few weeks of thumb sucking but is usually caused by long-term habitual thumb sucking or having objects placed between the teeth during these early developmental stages. Talking with a pediatric orthodontist will give you greater insight into the specifics of when to best ween your child off of pacifiers and thumb sucking if you have any concerns or if open bite already runs in your family.
What Are the Signs of an Open Bite? And What Does an Open Bite Look Like?
The signs of an open bite can partly be taken from the name, where you see a gap between your teeth, whether it’s in the front or in the back. If your molars are not making good contact it may be difficult to chew without grinding side to side like some grain eating animals do.
Another easy identification sign can be if the front teeth look overcrowded. Other less common symptoms can include things like speech impediments, mouth breathing, drooling, and teeth appearing to stick out. If any of these issues are ones that you have noticed either in yourself or in your child, it certainly does not hurt to have a consultation with your orthodontic office.
How to fix an Open Bite?
For an anterior open bite, a multidisciplinary approach may be necessary, with participation of orthodontics, surgery, and speech therapy (Tavares & Allgayer,2019).
There are two primary methods of fixing an open bite. By far the most common and most effective is simple orthodontic therapy. Things like braces, Invisalign, and other orthodontic corrective equipment are all excellent methods when done under the supervision and care of a qualified orthodontic expert.
The other option which may be required, although is far less common, is surgical. If the damage or the gap is too great or it is unresponsive to traditional therapeutic methods, surgery may be required. The good news is this is rarely the case in the vast majority of individuals suffering from open bite and if you talk with your orthodontic office sooner, it reduces those chances even further as problems that are left unattended to can often become more serious than if they were addressed far sooner.
Meeting with your orthodontic office will be a great way to discuss any and all of your needs, concerns, and questions when it comes to open bite and open bite treatments.
It is necessary to have a multi team approach to the achieve desired aesthetic and functional results for long term stability (Tavares & Allgayer,2019). To kickstart this process, feel free to book online at Ivanovortho.com or call us at 786-540-1919 to book an appointment.