An open bite is when your teeth do not meet when you join them together by clenching. The upper and lower teeth do not overlap or touch therefore there is an opening between them even when the teeth are put together.

However, open bite can be complete, anterior and lateral. Complete open bite; this is when the teeth do not meet no matter how hard you try to put the jaws together. This is very rare and it is mainly caused by accidents affecting one or both jaws and dislocation of temporomandibular joints.

Furthermore, an anterior open bite is when the opening is between the upper and lower front teeth, this is relatively common compared with the others. It is caused by; tongue thrusting, thumb sucking, finger sucking, pacifier sucking, skeleton deformity, trauma, etc.

Moreover, lateral open bite is when the opening is between the upper and lower back teeth.

The effects of open bite include affecting the shape of your face, your looks, and beauty. It also makes chewing difficult and less effective. Open bite can be treated by using a fixed orthodontic appliance. Fastbraces is a very reliable technology for treating open bite and other forms of malocclusion as well.


  • Inability to chew properly
  • Dry mouth
  • Protruding teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Inability to unconsciously close the mouth

When to see an orthodontist

Seek treatment when the open bite is affecting your self-esteem and chewing ability.

Causes of open bite

  • Thumb sucking
  • Finger sucking
  • Tongue thrusting
  • Crooked and tilted teeth
  • Disproportionate upper and lower jaws
  • Malalignment of jaw fracture segments after trauma
  • Temporomandibular joints dislocation
  • Missing front teeth

Role of the lips

The lips help to guide the teeth properly into occlusion when they are sealed therefore mouth breathing and unconscious opening of the mouth are not encouraged.

Risk factors

  • Mouth breathing
  • Paranormal oral habit
  • Cleft lip and palate
  • Downs syndrome
  • Macrodontia, big teeth
  • Hyperdontia
  • Cherubism
  • Severe spacing of teeth


When your teeth are not meeting properly it can result in further tissues like;

  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Orthodontitis
  • Low self esteem


Routine dental check-ups for children, especially during the mixed dentition stage, help to spot early signs of malocclusion.

Besides, paranormal oral habits like tongue thrusting, finger and thumb sucking should be discouraged in children.

Furthermore, antenatal care in pregnancy should be taken seriously to avoid birth defects like cleft which could cause malocclusion.

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