Open bite

Can't you see your upper teeth completely when you smile? Do you find it difficult to bite through more solid foods because your teeth don't touch the front?

About the open bite in general

Open bite is less common than deep bite, but is more difficult to treat in some cases. The long-term stability of the treatment outcome depends largely on the harmonious functioning of the tongue and facial muscles. Therefore, orthodontic treatment is often complemented by muscle function therapy, which results in improved speech, breathing, swallowing, chewing and, most importantly, the tongue is lifted to the roof of the mouth. 

Treatment of open bites should also be started as early as possible, in adolescence, while the jawbone is still developing actively. It can also be corrected in adulthood with both fixed and invisible braces.


What is an open bite?

An open bite is when the teeth of the upper and lower teeth do not meet, a gap is visible between them. Bite misalignment is evaluated in three directions of space, and open bite is also misalignment in the vertical plane, similar to deep bite, but in the opposite direction. While in the deep bite the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth, in the open bite the teeth do not touch. It can also be checked in a mirror with the teeth clenched.

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Forms of open bite and causes of its development

Open bite also takes several forms.

From first type when the appearance of a bite deviation is caused by improper muscle function. This is the residual infantile (tongue thrust) swallowing reflex: when the tip of the tongue is pressed between the front teeth during the swallowing cycle. In this case, the force and presence of the tongue does not "allow" the front teeth to come together. Other causes may include lip-swallowing, which works in a similar way to tongue thrust swallowing, except that the lower lip is sucked between the dental arches during the swallowing cycle. In addition, the presence of bad habits from childhood can also lead to the development of open biting, such as finger sucking, prolonged sucking, etc. The deviation is mainly in the area of the front teeth, but in some cases it can also affect the lateral teeth.


The appearance of an open bite second form  genetically determined form. 

This changes the growth direction of the jawbones, maxilla and mandible. The facial growth develops in a vertical (longitudinal) direction as opposed to the normal horizontal (lateral) growth direction. This type of facial growth is referred to in the literature as "Long face" syndrome. 

In this case, the bite discrepancy is not only caused by the position of the teeth, but also by the position of the jaw bones in relation to each other. It is not only the front teeth that are affected, but the entire dental arch.


Symptoms and consequences

How do we know if we or our child has an open bite? 

With ideal tooth contact, the upper front teeth cover 1.5-2 mm of the lower incisors, and the lateral teeth bite symmetrically and firmly together. In a case where the teeth are not in contact and there is a gap between them, it is called an open bite.

Health consequence

Teeth that do not touch do not participate in the chewing process, so the teeth in contact are overloaded.

As fewer teeth than normal come into contact, the quality of chewing deteriorates, which can lead to digestive complaints and malabsorption.

The jaw joints are also overloaded in this type of dentistry.

The majority of people with open bites are mouth breathers. Breathing through the mouth causes much less resistance and a much higher volume of air intake. One of the long-term effects, however, is the abnormal development of the skull and facial skeleton, which has lifelong effects.

Over time, people with untreated halitosis can face more serious problems, such as abnormal facial muscles and tooth growth, elongated mouth, gingivitis and tooth decay.

Shallow sleep is also a common feature of mouth breathing, which can impair daytime performance and, in children, can damage the body's growth processes.

Children with mouth breathing do not usually sleep well, which can lead to poor concentration and behavioural problems, including ADHD.

Mouth breathing also reduces oxygen in the blood, which can cause high blood pressure, heart problems, sleep apnoea and other health problems.

Smile Aesthetics

Elongated facial shape, often with open mouth and mouth breathing.

In terms of smile aesthetics, the upper arch is narrow, the front teeth are not fully visible when smiling, and a reverse smile is seen:


Treatment of an open bite

Taking into account the above-mentioned consequences, we can see that orthodontic treatment goes far beyond the simple alignment of teeth. 

The treatment of an open bite is in most cases a quality of life issue rather than an aesthetic one. Treatment can be done with either fixed or invisible braces. Treatment goals include: expanding the dental arches, aligning the front teeth and improving smile aesthetics, and adjusting the bite. 

Functional treatment goals: improving the function of the tongue and mimic muscles, stabilising posture and ideal nasal breathing.

Look at a full open bite case:

By treating the open bite, we can achieve the following results

Treating bite deviations is not just about creating a beautiful smile! In all our treatments, the goal is to achieve a complete improvement in quality of life.


Invisalign treatment step by step

The key to the most successful and fastest orthodontic treatment is thorough diagnosis and detailed
management plan. We use the most modern equipment and technology, so orthodontic treatment really does involve minimal discomfort. Both treatment and time in the dentist's chair are as short as possible.

An investment for lifetime

Your smile is one of the first physical features others see. A beautiful smile tells the outside world that you take good care of yourself.

How was your time together?


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Your specialist:

Dr. Sarolta Kovács orthodontist

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