Bad Bite or Open Bite
The teeth are supported and cushioned by the gums. The teeth and gums are an integral part to maintain the oral health. The disturbance in arrangement of teeth affects the gums in long term and also vice versa. The 32 teeth on biting should complement each other (it is called as Occlusion) in order to complete all the functions i.e, chewing, speech and to have a good smile.
What is Open Bite?
- The front teeth meet with each other on closing the mouth. Generally the upper front teeth are above and cover the lower front teeth by 2-4mm on closing.
- Sometimes, the front teeth do not meet on closing. It is called open bite.
- There are other types of abnormal bites like deep bite
What are the causes of open bite?
1. It runs in families
2. When child has thumb sucking habit even after 3 years of age
3. When there is tongue thrusting habit, mouth breathing habit
4. Adults above 35 years of age develop it due to periodontal problems which changes the bite pattern.
5. Due to trauma to front teeth – gap is created
What are the causes of deep bite?
- It runs in families
- Loss of primary or milk teeth at early age
- Abnormally small lower front teeth
How does the dentist diagnose the presence of open bite or deep bite?
The alignment of teeth is examined thoroughly. Examination is done to rule out other adverse habits. Detailed history is taken. The X rays of the skull are taken and all the abnormal measurements are noted down. The bone support is checked. The condition of gums is examined.
With the help of all the above findings the diagnosis is arrived by your dentist.
What are the complications of open bite or deep bite?
- There is abnormal bite
- There is an abnormal smile pattern
- The health of gums are affected after many years
- In deep bite – the lower lip gets injured constantly due to the bite pattern
What are the treatment options?
You must know your child and his/her habits thoroughly. You must consult your dentist at an early period when there is retention of habits like thumb sucking, tongue thrusting even after 3 years of age.
Habit breaking appliance:
There are appliances which help your child in discontinuing the habit. Once the habit is stopped the occlusion will come towards normal.
Your child is above 12 – 13 years, the habit is stopped but the damage caused from the long term carrying of the adverse habits will leave its imprints in the form of open bite.
Orthodontist have to be consulted and treatment should be started. It may vary from 1 – 2 ½ years in each patient. This can give you a permanent solution to the appearance of your smile.
The last option would be to undergo a surgery and to get the jaws and teeth in right place. It is invasive , expensive and very less preferred.
If the open bite occurs at an older age, the gum infection has to be corrected. This will in turn reduce the loss of occlusion.
Lower lip injury:
The deep bite causing trauma to lip can be reduced by lip bumper. It will prevent constant hurting of lip and help in healing faster. This should be accompanied with brackets for a time period as prescribed by the orthodontist.
The changes in occlusion lasts forever. Consulting your dentist at the earliest can help you with the best treatment.