What Is An Open Bite?
An open bite occurs when the upper and lower front teeth don’t make contact when biting down. This results in a gap or opening between both arches of teeth when a person closes their jaw. Not only can an open bite affect the appearance of your smile, but it can also affect its function as well. It is not uncommon for patients with an open bite to experience difficulty speaking and eating. Open bite is one of the common orthodontic concerns that Dr. Wayne Sankey can treat.
Types of Open Bite:
- Anterior open bite: When biting the teeth together, there is no overlapping between the opposing front teeth.
- Incomplete overbite: When the lower front teeth do not make contact with the upper front teeth.
- Posterior open bite: When there is a space between the back teeth when biting down.
Whats Causes An Open Bite?
There are several factors that can affect the alignment of the teeth. In some cases, an open bite is caused by a development issue of the jaw bone. Other times, an open bite may be caused by poor dental habits, including tongue thrusting, thumb sucking, chewing objects, TMJ, skeletal problems, or extended pacifier use. While poor oral habits can contribute to an open bite, they are especially troublesome if continued when all of the permanent teeth erupt, or when there is a mix of both baby and permanent teeth.
What Are The Signs of An Open Bite?
The most common sign of an open bite is your front teeth may not meet when you close your mouth. However, there are a few other signs that may indicate an open bite:
- Difficulty closing the mouth
- Uncomfortable or difficulty chewing
- Improper tooth alignment
If you or your child have experienced any of the signs above, it is important to visit our Flower Mound orthodontics office for the care you need. Dr. Sankey can evaluate your smile and take X-rays of your teeth and jaw to provide a proper diagnosis. These X-rays will help our team assess the relationship between your teeth and jaw as well as spot any structural abnormalities.
How To Treat An Open Bite
In some cases when there is a mix of baby and permanent teeth, an open bite may resolve on its own. Regular appointments should be scheduled to monitor a child’s development. At this stage, we may examine a child’s dental habits and make the appropriate recommendations. In the case that an open bite is progressing, we may recommend intervention.
To best determine how to treat an open bite, Dr. Sankey will perform a comprehensive evaluation. During the evaluation, Dr. Sankey will assess the condition of the teeth and jaw and how they relate to each other. Depending on factors like the results of your evaluation, age, and the development of the baby and permanent teeth, Dr. Sankey may recommend one or more of the following treatments:
- Traditional braces
- Surgical orthodontics (more common in adults with permanent open bite)
Open Bite FAQs
Can an open bite get worse?
Over time an open bite will shift and become worse. It is important to fix open bite early because as time progresses it becomes more and more exaggerated.
What does an open bite look like?
Open bite is a vertical gap between the top and bottom teeth. They do not connect with each other in the front of the jaw. It looks like there is a small or sometimes large space between the two sets of teeth.
Can an open bite cause TMJ?
An open bite can cause TMJ. Misaligned teeth are known to cause TMJ. If you experience headaches from TMJ that you believe to be caused by a misaligned bite then having your dentist correct your bite will stop the TMJ and headaches.
Find Treatment For An Open Bite in Flower Mound, TX
If you would like to explore your treatment options for an open bite, visit Dr. Sankey of Flower Mound Orthodontics. To schedule an appointment, call 972.833.8212 or request an appointment online.