Ideally, when you close your mouth, your top front teeth will sit just in front of your lower front teeth, and your molars will rest on top of one another. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many people. Either due to genetics or early childhood habits, their upper and lower teeth do not align correctly, leaving an opening between the teeth when their jaws are closed. This condition is called open bite. At Hendrix Orthodontics, we offer comprehensive treatments for a full range of orthodontic concerns, including open bite.
How Does Open Bite Develop?
Some people develop open bite as a result of genetic factors that cause skeletal deformation. However, this condition is more commonly caused by sucking habits during early childhood, while the teeth and jaw are still developing. Habits that can lead to this condition include prolonged thumb-sucking, frequent sucking on foreign objects, and tongue thrusting.
Is Open Bite Cause for Concern?
If open bite is not addressed early on, it can lead to several types of problems that may require more complicated treatments, including:
- Tooth and jaw damage- Open bite causes the teeth at the back of your mouth to rub together, which wears down teeth and can contribute to jaw joint problems.
- Eating and drinking- Misaligned teeth can make it difficult to chew properly, and openings between teeth can cause food or drink to seep out of your mouth.
- Aesthetic- People with open bite may feel dissatisfied with the appearance of their teeth, causing them to become self-conscious and smile less.
- Speech- Open bite can cause speech development issues such as lisps and other speech impediments as well as delayed speech.
How is Open Bite Treated?
There are a variety of treatments for open bite depending on the cause of the condition and the age of the patient. Renowned orthodontist Dr. Jeff Hendrix can perform a full evaluation and bite analyses to determine the best treatment options for your child.
If your child is showing signs of open bite, early intervention is the best response. For your convenience, we have orthodontic offices in Kennett Square, PA and West Grove, PA. To schedule an appointment, contact us or request an appointment online.