Open Bite- Overview
Open bite (also known as malocclusion) is considered a common dental problem. It can affect both, children and adults. This is a condition in which the teeth of the upper jaw simply do not touch the teeth in the lower jaw.
A mild form of open bite affects a lot of people and is not considered serious, hence it does not need to be treated. On the other hand, the condition in some cases may be associated with increased risk of tooth decay and it may also put pressure on the temporomandibular joint and lead to temporomandibular joint disorder. With proper treatment for open bite these risks can be reduced if not eliminated. Treatment for open bite is also necessary for people whose open bite leads to the skeletal disorganization of the face. There are two classes of open bite, the anterior open bite and posterior open bite.
Treatment Plan for Open Bite
Most of the orthodontists recommend correction of open bite. The treatment is not instant and it takes time until the desirable results are obtained. The basic and the simplest orthodontic treatment for open bite includes braces and headgear, magnets and blocks and if they cannot correct the conditions, one may undergo surgical repair.
Using braces is a treatment in which wires are attached to the individual brace on each tooth. The wires are gradually tightened. Tightening of the wires exerts pressure on the teeth and the final result is their proper alignment. Braces are best suitable option for mild or moderate degree of open bite. Patients who wear braces are generally advised to avoid hard biting and they are supposed to use sensitive teeth toothpaste. Impeccable teeth and braces hygiene is a must. A headgear can be also used for the same purposes and it can only help with minor open bite problems.
Furthermore, correction of open bite can be achieved with bite blocks and magnets. These devices prevent the teeth and jaw movement in a particular way or direction. This way the teeth are trained to a closed bite position. Bite blocks and magnets can be used alone or together with a headgear. They are highly efficient against the posterior open bite.
And finally, if none of the previously mentioned can offer desirable results a person must undergo surgical correction. The surgery includes repositioning of the jaw. This is a serious and rather painful treatment and the recovery may take some time.