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Orthodontics: Causes of an Open Bite
Orthodontics is a necessary solution to a dental issue like an open bite. An open bite does not affect the smile alone; it can also affect your oral hygiene, self-esteem, and overall wellbeing. The condition may not be a reason for concern initially, but it can have severe and lasting health repercussions without intervention. This article talks about some of the causes of an open bite.
Overview of open bite
An open bite is when the upper and lower front teeth are inclined forward and do not align when biting or when the mouth closes. This form of malocclusion creates a vertical gap between the upper and lower teeth, hence open bite. Open bites are not prevalent and are often seen among children, although adults who do not undergo orthodontics during childhood can also have the condition.
People with open bite will usually feel like their mouth is ajar or impossible to close. The situation causes inconvenience, makes biting and chewing difficult, and could distort speech or pronunciation. It may also contribute to other dental issues, especially teeth deterioration and fracture if untreated.
Causes of an open bite
The two main types of open bite are anterior and posterior and could result from certain factors. Generally, genetics is the cause if the jaws develop apart instead of parallelly. An open bite can also be due to some oral habits, especially those that started during childhood, including:
Overuse of pacifiers: at a young age, children find comfort in sucking on bottles, pacifiers, and other objects like toys. The sucking act can affect dental alignment and cause issues like an open bite.
Thumb-sucking: sucking on fingers or toes can produce the same results. Most children quit thumb sucking when they reach age two to four, but if the habit persists after the baby teeth are lost, an open bite might develop.
Mouth breathing: the habit of breathing through the mouth can cause different oral issues. When children breathe mostly via their mouth, the development of their teeth and jaw may be affected, causing an open bite.
Sucking the lower lips: this habit forces the lower lips inward and pushes the upper lip forward. Repeated practice can cause issues like open bite and lip incompetence.
Tongue thrusting: wrong tongue positioning, movement, and posture can cause an open bite. Children who thrust their tongue or push it between their teeth when eating or talking may develop a gap between teeth and an open bite.
Parents should ensure they teach their kids good oral habits and start discussions on oral health. The factors that contribute to an open bite may not exactly be disturbing, but they may cause issues for the child throughout life.
An open bite may be due to external factors such as a head, jaw, or teeth injury. TMJ disorder may also play a role in the development of the condition. It is advisable to visit the dentist after noticing signs of an open bite for orthodontics. The earlier treatment starts, the higher the chances of quick and effective treatment.
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