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open bite

Teeth with a normal bite should match in the middle so that they align. This a is known as an occlusion, but there are cases where this doesn’t happen resulting in a condition that is known as malocclusion.


What is an open bite?

An example of a malocclusion is an open bite. An open bite is when a person’s front teeth aren’t properly aligned. This results in them not meeting when they bite together. The upper and lower teeth tend to angle outward, when you close your jaws. An open bite can be easily identified by a large gap which separates both the upper and lower teeth.


What is the cause of an overbite?

The misalignment can be caused by multiple factors:


  • The Jawbone: Problems with the jawbone can lead to a misaligned bite. Your jaw appears apart, rather than parallel to each other. This is often influenced by genetics.
  • Thumb Sucking: The alignment of your teeth can be strained from excessive sucking on your thumb or a pacifier as a child. It can also come from objects such as a pen or pencil.
  • Tongue Thrusting: Tongue thrusting is when a person speaks and/or swallows with their tongue pressed against their front teeth. This can, overtime, push your teeth apart from each other, resulting in the gap.
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorder: Some people push apart their teeth in order to achieve a comfy repositioned jaw; doing this can cause and open bite and also chronic jaw pain.

Correction methods

An open bite can be corrected using multiple methods which include:

  • Medical Treatment: Treatments such as braces can pull the teeth back into place so that both the upper and lower teeth meet. Braces such as Invisalign are custom made to fit your teeth depending on the severity of your case. This works by gradually adjusting the teeth up or down into the correct position.
  • Surgery: Fixing an open bite surgically involves cutting the gum, below your bottom teeth, on your lower lip. Then, if you’re reducing the size of your chin, removing a small amount of your chin bone. If you’re having your chin lengthened the surgical process would involve reattaching a bone with a gap between the jaw and chin. There is also a process that creates a “step” in the bone, which allows you to have your chin moved forward. Speak to your Orthodontist about this procedure as they will be able to assess whether it is necessary.
  • Change of Behaviour: Children who have obtained an open bite due to pacifier sucking can correct the problem by stopping the habits. It may not fix the problem completely or as effectively as surgery or braces.

  • If you are suffering from an open bite and are interested in getting treatment, feel free to get in contact with us on 0161 622 0987 and book an appointment.