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What is an Open Bite?
An open bite is when the top and bottom teeth don’t match up at either the front or back of the mouth when the jaw is closed. This creates a space between the teeth known as a “malocclusion.” There are many underlying issues that can cause a bad bite, with other secondary effects of a poor alignment being pain, problems with hygiene, and gum decay.
While often complex to treat, a licensed orthodontist nearby will be able to correct this uncomfortable condition with a variety of treatment options typically available. If you’re suffering with an open bite, Frugé Orthodontics is here to help.
What Causes an Open Bite?
Generally, causes for an open bite are broken down into dental or skeletal issues, though sometimes the condition is caused by both. Here are the top three causes of an open bite:
Poor bone growth is typically caused by genetics. These genes are passed down through the family, causing skeletal issues leading to malocclusions.
2) Bad Oral Habits
Dental causes of malocclusions stem from habits that interrupt important dental development, typically during earlier ages. These include:
- lip sucking
- thumb sucking
- tongue thrusting
3) Soft Tissue Issues
Patients with open bites can have issues with their soft tissues that make the issue worse. These include:
- poor swallowing patterns
- bad tongue posture
- inflammation of joints
- poor tongue posture
No matter the cause, correcting an open bite is possible with the help of a trained, local orthodontic specialist like those at Frugé Orthodontics.
What Are Signs of an Open Bite?
The most notable sign of an open bite is the inability to close the teeth at the front of the mouth, even if the jaw is completely closed. Additional signs of an open bite are:
- problems with chewing or swallowing
- recessed chin
- speech problems
- painful eating
- inability to rip food easily with front teeth
Diagnosing an Open Bite
While it might seem straightforward, there are actually several different types of open bites that range in severity. If you’re concerned about a potential malocclusion, then it’s best to contact an experienced orthodontist nearby for a proper diagnosis. You’ll most likely undergo an x-ray exam or some other three-dimensional imaging process to determine your specific problems. Once a proper diagnosis is made, plans for treatment can begin.
Treating an Open Bite
There are many ways for an experienced orthodontist to treat an open bite. Some involve more invasive procedures than others. It’s important that you understand the risks vs. benefits of any treatment plan before moving forward; a reputable orthodontist won’t pressure you in any way. Treatment modalities for malocclusions include:
An effective and standard treatment for an open bite, braces move teeth around with a variety of bands and spacers. These are most effective during early development before the bones are fully fused, but they can significantly correct adult bites as well.
Invisalign can treat some types of open bites by moving teeth around, just like braces. They have the additional benefit of being able to be removed while also appearing less obvious than traditional braces.
Sometimes, oral surgery for an open bite is the only way to correct it. It is only used for very complex cases that would otherwise not be treated successfully with braces. A careful, long-term plan is established between patients and providers to ensure the best results with minimal risks.
Retainers for open bites are actually preventative measures that seek to stop malocclusions from forming once teeth have been straightened. It’s important to follow the instructions of a licensed, experienced orthodontist so that retainers don’t go to waste.
Correct Your Open Bite with Frugé Orthodontics
The trained orthodontic specialists at Frugé Orthodontics will help you correct your malocclusion for a more aesthetic and functional bite. Your open bite will not correct itself and will potentially become worse over time if left alone. Contact our open bite treatment clinic nearby for a consultation and start the process of straightening your smile today!