Toothy Questions: What's an Open Bite? - Specialist Orthodontic Group : Specialist Orthodontic Group
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Toothy Questions: What’s an Open Bite?

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Have you ever heard the term ‘open bite’ and wondered what it means?

An open bite is a kind of malocclusion, which is more simply described as an issue with teeth alignment. There are a whole range of different types of malocclusion, including overbites and underbites.

If you have a malocclusion, it means that when you close your mouth the teeth in your upper and lower jaw don’t naturally touch each other.

In an open bite, the problem is that the central teeth don’t come together, even when the rest of the teeth do. Instead, there is a gap between the bottom of the top teeth and the top of the bottom teeth.

Why is an open bite a problem?

An open bite can be a concern for a number of reasons. The first is to do with confidence. Like any malocclusion, an open bite can make you feel self-conscious about the look of your teeth.

Open bites can also be a concern as they can cause speech impediments. The gap between the teeth sometimes results in problems such as lisps.

What causes an open bite?

In many cases, an open bite is genetic. This is the case for all malocclusions. However, there are other factors that can cause an open bite.

The most common of these is a short term problem experienced by young teens when they have a mixture of baby teeth and adult teeth. This discrepancy in the heights of their teeth can result in a temporary open bite. This usually isn’t anything to worry about as the issue should resolve itself when all their adult teeth come through.

There are some other things that could cause an open bite, including thumb-sucking, thumb thrusting and habitual sucking on items such as pens.

If you’d like to talk to a specialist orthodontist about addressing an open bite, please get in touch. Here’s how to book an appointment with us online.