Open Bites and Your Oral Health

An open bite is a dental condition in which the upper and lower teeth do not meet when the mouth is closed. Several issues can cause this particular malocclusion, including early dental trauma or late-term thumb-sucking. For example, if a child sucks their thumb for a long period of time, it can affect the growth and development of their teeth and jaws. The teeth will begin to push outwards.

Unfortunately, this bite problem can lead to various oral and overall health problems. 

Open Bites and Your Oral Health

Effects of Open Bites

Firstly, open bites can cause difficulty in chewing and speaking. When the upper and lower teeth do not meet properly, it can affect the way you speak and chew food. This can lead to speech difficulties and nutritional deficiencies. Difficulty in chewing can cause you to avoid certain types of food, leading to a lack of proper nutrition.

Secondly, open bites can cause jaw pain and discomfort. When the teeth do not come together correctly, it can cause undue stress on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This can lead to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), which can cause pain, stiffness, and difficulty in opening and closing your mouth. The pain can radiate to other parts of your face, causing headaches, earaches, and neck pain.

Thirdly, open bites can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. If your teeth do not meet, food particles get stuck in between the teeth. Unfortunately, this can make it difficult to clean. If there are leftover food particles, it can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Gum disease can lead to inflammation and bleeding of the gums, which can lead to tooth loss if left untreated.

Fourthly, open bites can cause bad breath. When food particles get stuck in between the teeth, bacteria will consume it. As they break down the food, it can create a foul odor. This can be embarrassing and affect your social life.

Finally, open bites can affect your overall health. Researchers link poor oral health to various health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. The bacteria doesn’t just stay in your mouth; it can enter your bloodstream and move throughout your body. When this happens, it can cause inflammation throughout your body, leading to various health problems.

Treatment Options

To treat open bites, orthodontic treatment may be required. Braces, aligners, or other orthodontic appliances can move the teeth into the correct position. In some cases, jaw surgery may be necessary to correct the open bite.