What Is Open Bite And How To Treat It

There are a wide variety of dental issues that can affect a person as they age. From teeth drifting out of place to wisdom teeth overcrowding your mouth. Certain dental issues can easily be fixed while others may require a bit of change in your habits. One of the dental issues that can happen, especially as a child grows and gets their adult teeth is an open bite. An open bite can be caused by a wide variety of habits, and usually occurs in children and young adults. If you would like to learn more about open bite treatments or any other dental care needs, contact Gruelle Dempsey Orthodontics today. Our industry-leading team of dental experts is happy to walk you through your custom-built dental plan to make sure you are informed and well taken care of every step of the way. Here is some basic information on open bites and how to treat them.

What is an Open Bite?

An open bite is a condition that occurs when outward pressure is applied to an individual’s teeth causing the upper and lower teeth to tilt outwards, it can also be caused by different growth patterns and is due to genetics in some cases. Severe open bites leave a large gap between the front teeth when the jaw is closed and the back teeth are touching. There is a variety of reasons a person can develop an open bite including the following:

Pacifier & Thumb Sucking. Children who are getting their adult teeth and are still sucking a pacifier or habitually suck their thumb can cause their teeth to push outward from the constant pressure of the suction causing the anterior open bite.

Tongue Thrusting. Certain people will push their tongue between their upper and lower teeth when they talk or swallow. This pressure over time causes the teeth to push outwards and is about as common in adults as it is in children.

TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder). Those this is a less common cause, people who suffer from TMJ will sometimes separate their teeth with their tongue in order to relieve the general pain in their mouth, causing an open bite due to overerruption of the posterior teeth.

Skeletal & Other Issues. Certain jaw structures grow apart instead of parallel, which can cause a slanting of the teeth and a down and back growth pattern of the lower jaw(ie-long skinny faces and sometimes known as adenoid faces). An open bite can also be caused by trauma and other dental issues.

What are my Treatment Options?

Depending on the severity of your open bite, there are a wide variety of treatments that you can choose from. Regardless of the treatment you choose, you will have to alter or change the behavior that is causing your open bite in order to ensure that your teeth remain straights. Here at Gruelle Dempsey Orthodontics, we often treat open bite cases with Invisalign (this has become the gold standard of treating anterior open bites in the orthodontic world). We are proud to be in the top five Invisalign providers in the globe, and we are constantly staying on the cutting edge of these miraculous aligners’ capabilities. If your case is extremely severe, though it is very rare, you may have to have a combination of orthodontics along with orthodontic surgery.

If you or your child is suffering from an open bite, come into Gruelle Dempsey Orthodontics today. We are also happy to provide virtual appointments to help assess your needs before you ever set foot in our offices. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.