Orthodontics 101: Open Bite Information

Posted on Apr 26, 2012

Orthodontics 101: Open Bite Information

What is an open bite?
Open bites describe a misalignment of the tooth and jaw wherein the upper and lower front teeth are forced outwards. In consequence, most teeth don’t touch each other at all, not even when the mouth is closed.

What causes an open bite?
In most cases it’s the patients themselves who are (inadvertently) responsible. Thumb-sucking, tongue thrusting (pushing the tongue against the teeth when swallowing), chewing on objects (usually pencils), excessive/incorrect use of pacifiers and feeding bottles, and untreated TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction) can all cause an open bite.

What are the consequences of an open bite? 
An open bite isn’t aesthetically pleasing and may cause low self-esteem in a patient. Lisping and TMD could develop or become aggravated, so it’s important to visit your orthodontic specialist to correct an open bite.

Generally braces are sufficient to correct an open bite, but in severe cases jaw surgery may be required. Your orthodontic expert will be able to determine which course of action is appropriate for your open bite.

The best treatment for an open bite is prevention, beginning as early as possible by discouraging thumb-sucking, reducing pacifier use and booking an appointment at HGS Ortho in Richmond and Port Coquitlam.

For more information on open bites, or to book a consultation, please contact us today.