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How to fix an open bite

Posted by Metamorphosis on Mar 31, 2017 11:25:05 AM

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Everyone has reservations regarding a particular aspect of their body and more often than not, people are shy of flaunting their teeth. One of the main reasons that make someone uncomfortable and conscious about their appearance is an “open bite”. As the name suggests, it is a condition in which the upper and lower teeth are misaligned in such a way that even when the mouth is closed, it appears to be open.

There are various types of open bite:

  • Anterior open bite – when the teeth are biting together, there is no overlapping between the opposing front teeth.
  • Posterior open bite – This type of open bite is characterized by a space in between the back teeth, especially when the teeth are biting together.
  • Incomplete overbite – In this type of open bite, the lower front teeth are not touching the upper front teeth.

What are the main causes of open bite?

There are various causes for developing an open bite. Most of the time, it is the action of the patient that puts strain on the teeth alignment. This is common in younger patients.

  • Sucking on the lower lip or thumb: Sure it is common for infants and toddlers, but if not curbed timely, it can result in impairing the aesthetics of your smile and the development of an open bite.
  • Tongue thrusting: Some children protrude their tongue while swallowing and as they do so, the front teeth start protruding outwards, and before one knows it, an open bite develops.
  • Open bite can also be caused by TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder. With this disorder, the patient suffers from chronic jaw pain. He usually pushes his tongue to push the teeth apart just to put the jaw in a more comfortable position. The patient will often complain of sensitive teeth and frequent headache.

Most of the open bites observed in children self-correct themselves. Regular appointments should be scheduled for monitoring this progress. And alternatively, if signs of retraction aren’t visible, the orthodontist decides what needs to be done next.

Prevention is better than cure, and it is highly encouraged to bring 7-year olds (time for permanent teeth to erupt) for an evaluation. An open bite at this age can be effectively treated with various treatment options.

What are the treatment options for open bite?   

There are many different ways to correct an open bite.

  • One of the common ways to treat an open bite condition is through the use of braces. The bite can be balanced by pulling back the teeth. The orthodontist will thoroughly assess the severity of the open bite. As per the assessment, he will then apply custom made braces.
  • Using a roller appliance that helps limit the tongue behind and prevents it from thrusting the front teeth.
  • A high pull headgear that directs force towards the right areas to ensure the aligned growth of jaws.
  • Working with other health experts in devising strategies to minimise bad oral habits and also decreasing the consequences of such acts.
  • In severe cases or if all else fails, surgical correction may be necessary and this is also a treatment option for adults that have permanently developed an open bite. The corrective jaw surgery offers a permanent solution for open bite problem. As a matter of fact, it can help in correcting other dental problems. With this type of surgery, the upper jaw is placed in its new positon and secured in place using plates and screws.

What happens if you don’t treat open bite?

A question arises about the repercussions of an open bite if left untreated.

The first one is quite obvious, the treatment is important for aesthetic purposes. How you feel about your appearance links with how confident you are. If you’re not confident about your outside, it directly impacts the confidence that comes from within.

Secondly, people with an open bite develop a lisp which not only hinders speech, but also the effectiveness of what you’re saying.

Thirdly, having a stable bite is essential to be able to bite and chew food properly. With an open bite, drinks and food can seep out if the tongue isn’t used to keep it sealed. And this action exacerbates the condition further.

Fourthly, the posterior teeth can wear out due to constant friction as the back teeth come on top of each other more often. This wear and tear can ultimately lead to painful chewing and other dental conditions requiring professional help.

As it has been expressed earlier, this condition should be nipped in the bud. But even if the point of prevention has been crossed, a consultation should be scheduled as soon as possible for damage control and determination of the extent it can be reversed.

Here at metamorphosis orthodontics, we realise the value of customized treatment plans. Each and every person has a different lifestyle, and those lifestyle choices should be taken into account while catering to a particular problem. We do just that. We cater to your smile, and tailor regimens according to what your need is.

So go ahead. Book an appointment with our professionals today. In the hands of competent orthodontists, that insecurity about your open bite will fade away. 

Call us on 020 3828 7116 or email smile@metamorphosisorthodontics.com

Topics: Teeth Straightening