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Open Bite

Open Bite

Open Bite

An open bite is a dental problem which occurs due to spacing between your lower and upper front teeth after closing jaws or visible gaps. It can affect the appearance and overall functionality of your teeth and jaw where the lower and upper teeth should meet evenly. Make sure you are aware about the causes, consequences, and treatment options for open bite to improve and maintain good oral health.

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Causes

Different factors can be the reason for developing an open bite. Some of these include:

  • Thumb-Sucking or Use of a Pacifier: Prolonged thumb-sucking or pacifier use during childhood might push the lower and upper front teeth forward, leading to an open bite.
  • Premature Tooth Loss: The loss of primary or baby teeth at an early stage can affect permanent teeth alignment, causing an open bite.
  • Skeletal Abnormalities: Irregularities in the jaws size or shape can cause an open bite.
  • Tongue Thrusting: Habitual tongue-thrusting against the front teeth can cause an open bite.
  • Genetics: Genetic predisposition has a vital role in developing dental misalignments such as open bites.

Symptoms

Common symptoms related to an open bite are:

  • Difficulty at the time of chewing or biting certain foods.
  • Increased risk of speech difficulties, with certain sounds.
  • Visible gap between the lower and upper front teeth when you close jaws.
  • Higher chance of jaw joint pain and dysfunction.
  • Self-esteem concerns due to smile appearance.

Diagnosis

The dentist diagnoses an open bite with a comprehensive examination including:

  • Visual inspection of your teeth and bite.
  • X-rays or dental scans to assess tooth and jaw positioning.
  • Dental impressions to create models for further analysis.

Treatment

Addressing an open bite is important due to cosmetic reasons for maintaining optimal dental health. The treatment options for an open bite will depend on its severity and include:

  • Tongue Therapy: Speech and tongue therapy may address tongue thrusting habits leading to an open bite.
  • Orthodontic Treatment: Invisalign braces can be used to correct open bites by gradually shifting teeth to their desired position.
  • Dental Appliances: Orthodontic devices like palatal expanders, may be used to address specific open bite problems.
  • Surgery: Surgical intervention may be needed for jaw reposition in the cases which involve skeletal abnormalities.

Complications

Overlooking an open bite might lead to many complications, including:

  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, causing headaches and jaw pain.
  • Difficulty in your speech.
  • Increased risk of dental wear and tear due to teeth misalignment.
  • Reduced self-confidence due to your smile appearance.

Prevention

Genetics has a vital role in the development of an open bite. So, early intervention and preventive measures can be of great help:

  • Routine dental check-ups for early detection and quick intervention.
  • Address oral misalignments quickly.
  • Encourage children to stop thumb-sucking or using a pacifier
  • Promote good dental hygiene habits.

See a dentist to know about the most suitable treatment plan for your case.

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