An open bite is a tooth and jaw misalignment in which the upper and lower teeth do not meet in some regions of the mouth when the mouth is closed. This can occur in the teeth’ front (anterior) or side (posterior) area.
The causes of an open bite can be varied. Common factors include genetics, persistent mouth breathing, certain childhood habits such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting, and skeletal abnormalities. Temporomandibular joint and orthodontic problems and uneven jaw growth can lead to an open bite.
Symptoms and consequences:
An open bite can cause difficulty chewing and biting because the teeth do not meet correctly. The pronunciation of certain sounds can also be affected. Aesthetically, an open bite can change the smile and facial profile. This often leads to jaw joint problems and headaches.
An open bite is diagnosed through a clinical examination of the dentition and jaws. Oral surgeons and orthodontists may use X-rays or digital scans to assess the precise alignment of the teeth and jaws.
Treatment for an open bite depends on the cause and severity. In many cases, orthodontic treatment is performed using braces or special devices. In more severe cases or for adults, oral surgery may be necessary to adjust the position of the jaw bones.
Treatment of open bite is aimed at improving the function of the masticatory system and optimizing the aesthetic appearance. Early detection and treatment are crucial to achieve the best results and maintain the long-term health of the masticatory system as a whole.