What is an Open Bite?
An open bite is a malocclusion (bite problem) where the top teeth and bottom teeth do not come together or bite in the correct position. There is no overlap of the teeth leading to them looking "open." Open bites can be caused by either tooth position, jaw position, or a combination of both. They can occur in the front teeth (called an anterior open bite) or in the back teeth (called a lateral open bite).
What Causes an Open Bite?
- Open bites can be caused by a tooth problem, a jaw problem, or a combination of both
- Open bites can be caused by a poor skeletal relationship between the upper jaw and lower jaw.
- Open bites can develop from a habit such as thumb, finger, or tongue sucking. These habits can prevent normal biting of the teeth and lead to problems eating or tooth eruption.
How is an Open Bite Treated?
- In kids and teens, open bites are often treated with braces. Depending on the cause of the open bite (a thumb sucking habit, etc), sometimes other appliances are needed to help break habits.
- In some teens and adults, open bites can be treated by braces or Invisalign treatments.
- Open bites of back teeth are many times treated with braces or special appliances to help stop lateral tongue habits
- In rare cases, open bites are so severe that jaw surgery may be needed.