Open Bite: Symptoms, Causes, Types and Treatment Options
Open bite is a dental alignment condition where there is a vertical gap between the front teeth when the jaw closes. In simple words, the front teeth of the upper jaw don’t sit perfectly on the lower ones and a huge visible gap is formed. Open bite teeth can be primarily classified into four categories.
Following are the types of open bites:
Anterior open bite
This is the most common type of overbite. In this condition, the front teeth of the lower and upper jaws don’t overlap perfectly. This condition can also impact teeth around the front ones and patients need to undergo open bite treatment to improve alignment.
Posterior open bite
As the name suggests, this is the exact opposite of the previous condition. The teeth of the upper set and lower ones do not overlap each other perfectly. This condition can impact basic activities like biting and chewing
Dental open bite
This happens mostly due to a tooth eruption where the tooth grows abnormally past jawbones and gums creating and showing up in the dental arch.
Skeletal open bite
This kind of malocclusion happens due to the irregular bone structure of the face. The skeletal structure of the jaws and face results in the development of two jawbone molars.
Open bite causes:
An open bite can occur due to hereditary reasons and can be passed from one generation to other. This can also occur due to various lifestyles and early childhood habits. Some of these are:
- Thumb sucking and usage of pacifier beyond prescribed periods
- Tongue thrusting
- Mouth or jaw tumor
- Extra teeth or missing teeth
- Poor dental hygiene
- Bottle feeding for long periods
- Temporomandibular joint disorder
Open bite treatment:
Open bite is a pretty common condition in infants. In most cases, unless it’s genetic, open bites rectify themselves. This is also quite common during the mixed dentition period and once the primary teeth make way for permanent teeth, the misalignment issue is sorted out. However, in cases where the open bite exists beyond adolescence, the following treatment methods can be used.
This is an effective method to open bite treatment. Headgears attach firmly to the upper and backside of the head and work towards jaw correction. Headgear is used alongside braces to provide complete alignment.
Vertical Chin cups
Many orthodontists recommend this solution to correct jaw position and provide better alignment. Chin cups are firmly attached to the chin much like a helmet strap and push the chin to provide alignment.
Aligners are one of the most preferred dental alignment solutions. There are invisible aligners available in the market that sit firmly on the teeth and push them toward their appropriate position. Aligners are a pain-free and convenient method of treating several dental conditions including overbites.
Veneers are a cosmetic solution for teeth alignment problems. These can be used only in case of minor malocclusions. Veneers are thin shells that are placed on the front of the tooth to replace the missing part of the tooth or bridge gaps.
The first and foremost treatment of open bites starts at home. If your child has a habit of thumb sucking or tongue thrusting, make the child lose the habit as it can lead to several dental complications in the future. Apart from this, avoid bottle feeding and pacifiers for prolonged periods to give your child better dental health.
Open bites, if left untreated can cause serious problems in biting, chewing, and speech issues. Apart from poor aesthetics, open bites can impact our dental health and overall health as well.
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