What Is an Open Bite?


There are various issues that can plague our teeth, causing us to need orthodontic treatment. Some of us may have crowding or spacing issues, overbites or underbites, or a wide array of issues in between. This is why it’s important to see an orthodontist to determine what the root cause of the issue is and the steps needed to correct it. One of the issues orthodontists correct fairly frequently is an open bite.

What It Is

An open bite is most often referred to as an anterior open bite, which means the front upper teeth and the front lower teeth do not touch when the mouth is closed. Orthodontists call this a type of malocclusion, which simply means there is an issue with the alignment of the teeth. There are many common factors that can cause an open bite. These include:

Although some of these culprits can be avoided, your orthodontist will need to intervene to determine the right treatment plan for the severity of your bite issue.

What Issues Can an Open Bite Cause?

Open bites can cause more harm than you may be aware of, which is why addressing it early is important. If not treated, patients risk serious issues not just with their teeth, but with their overall health as well. You may not realize that improper chewing techniques can affect how your digestive system works, making it less effective in breaking down and absorbing nutrients. Another harmful occurrence in patients with open bites is all of the extra work the muscles, tendons and ligaments are doing on a daily basis. Patients who have an open bite are basically putting their muscles into overdrive, resulting in early deterioration of the muscles.

How an Open Bite Can Be Fixed

It may sound scary to hear all of the problems an open bite can cause, but there are ways to fix this issue so you can lead a normal, healthy life, free from discomfort. Your orthodontist will discuss the best option for you after a careful evaluation. Your treatment options can vary from minor behavior changes to more severe treatment, such as surgery. Your orthodontist will recommend the right course of treatment, which is often braces or Invisalign combined with behavior changes. In some cases, surgery may be the only option to fix very severe bite problems, but you won’t know unless you speak to a trained professional. The best part about orthodontic treatment today is you’ve got options when it comes to the products offered by your orthodontist. You can opt for removable aligners, clear braces, traditional braces or other methods, so discussing this with your orthodontist is key.

You shouldn’t have to worry about how an open bite can affect you. Be sure to be proactive and speak with your orthodontist about the right treatment for you. You’ll be glad you did when you’re flashing that spectacular smile.

At Charleston Orthodontic Specialists, we’re ready to help you get the smile you’ve always wanted. Call (843) 4-BRACES to get started with our team!