Why You May Need Oral Surgery For An Open Bite


Ever notice a gap between your upper and lower set of teeth when you smile? This misalignment of the teeth is called an open bite. Although an open bite can be a very common oral problem, there is the possibility of serious negative effects on a person’s oral health and quality of life.

More specifically, open bite is when the front teeth, both upper and lower, are forced outwards to an extent that the teeth do not touch each other, even when the mouth is closed. Open bite is usually caused by putting strain on your teeth, especially at a young age. These causes include:

  • Tongue thrusting
  • Thumb sucking
  • Excessive chewing on objects, such as a pencil

Having an open bite may seem like a small oral health problem, but it can have major effects on a person’s overall health. Most obviously, an open bite affects a person’s smile, which can in turn affect their self-esteem and daily interactions. An open bite not only affects your appearance, but it can cause speech problems, like having a lisp. A lisp is cute as a child, but can cause you to be self conscious as an adult. Plus, since a person with an open bite generally puts an unnatural amount of pressure on their molars, it impacts their tooth structure over time. The force and pressure will lead to tooth wear, breakage, and decay. A misaligned bite can also cause TMJ disorder, which in turn leads to daily discomfort, headaches, and facial pain.

unspecifiedIn less severe cases, open bite can be improved through orthodontic treatment. Braces or headgear can be used to move the position of your teeth or expand your palate, however results are not permanent. In more severe cases, jaw surgery becomes necessary to properly align your jawbones.

To learn more about options for your or a family member’s open gap, contact Dr. Elias and Dr. Paonessa at Mamaroneck Oral Surgery for a consultation, 914-873-0045.

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