Open bite is a disorder in which the upper and lower front teeth are not in contact with each other when the mouth is closed. Sometimes small molars also have this kind of problem. Open Bite can occur due to bad habits such as finger sucking or the faulty position of the tongue at the moment of swallowing (infantile swallowing).
Early diagnosis has a critical importance in the treatment of these cases. %0.6 of Americans are known to have this kind of problem.
Open bite is an orthodontic disorder when upper incisors and lower incisors not contacting each other. Because the incisors do not come into contact with each other, patients with open bite have difficulty in eating some kind of food. For example, they can not eat sunflower seeds. As an another example to show disfunction of the teeth, they can not cut a piece of thread with their teeth.
The second symptom of open bite is that there is space between the anterior teeth. So, the tongue enters this space ,and so, these patients suffer some difficulties in pronunciation of some voices. These patients have difficulty in pronunciation of some letters like s, Sh. Therefore, It can be very difficult for them to speak. These symptoms are the most obvious symptoms of open bite problems.
To diagnose this disorder, the first thing needed is a clinical examination. In the clinical examination, First they determine the gap between the teeth . Secondly, they take some photos to determine the percentage of mismatch between the teeth. Thirdly, they take films of the jaws.
Especially the head film called Lateral cephalometric film is very important in the diagnosis of open bite. Because this film gives information about whether the open bite is skeletal or dental. It also provides a successful treatment planning. It is an orthodontic disorder diagnosed with open bite clinical examination, examination of the orthodontic photo and lateral cephalometric films.
The treatment of this disease actually depend on the age. If the patient is a young and growing one and the disorder is stemming from the growth in the jaws, then the experts can redirect growth by using orthodontic apparatus. This way, the treatment can be successful by only applying wire treatment.
But, If the patient is adult and he or she has completed his/her growth and development process, It means that the disorder is a skeletal one. For these patients It would be more accurate to apply a orthognathic surgery along with the orthodontic treatment.
Sometimes the patient suffers an open bite problem due to a dental problem and not a skeletal problem. In this case, orthodontic treatment along with wire treatment is the only choice for treatment of open bite problem in such patients. So, determining the cause of the disorder is the first and most important step to treat it.