How to Fix an Open Bite Long Beach, CA

At Garlington Orthodontics, we want our Long Beach patients to be informed about any dental issues they may encounter. Information goes a long way in benefitting your oral health and wellness. One common orthodontic issue that affects many people is an open bite.

An open bite can impact both the function and appearance of your teeth. This issue can lead to difficulties with chewing, speech, and overall oral health. Understanding open bite is the first step toward seeking the right treatment and achieving a properly aligned smile. We want to help our patients on the road to a healthy and beautiful smile. 

Open Bite in Long Beach, CA

What is an Open Bite?

An open bite occurs when the upper and lower front teeth don’t make contact when biting down. This leaves a noticeable gap between them. The gap can vary in size and severity, ranging from a slight opening to a much bigger gap that affects the entire front of the mouth.

If you have an open bite, you can experience a variety of different issues. They can range from functional to aesthetic problems. Because your mouth needs your teeth to touch and a certain alignment, an open bite can cause a lot of problems. 

The gap between the front teeth can make it hard to bite and chew food properly. Typically, this can cause difficulties in eating certain foods. Additionally, an open bite may affect speech patterns, causing issues with your speech and clarity.

Without the protection provided by the front teeth, other teeth may experience excessive wear and tear. Unfortunately, this can raise the risk of dental problems, such as tooth decay and enamel erosion. In some cases, an open bite can contribute to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, leading to symptoms such as jaw pain, clicking or popping sounds, and difficulty opening or closing the mouth.

Common Causes for an Open Bite

There is no one set cause for an open bite. Generally, it depends on your genetics and childhood habits. In many cases, genetics play a big role in jaw and teeth alignment. Those with a family history of open bite may be more likely to develop the condition. For others, underlying skeletal abnormalities or jaw size or position may lead to the effect of an open bite.

Habits such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting, particularly during early childhood, can exert pressure on the teeth and jaws, leading to misalignment over time. Similarly, using pacifiers or other oral appliances can interfere with proper dental development, increasing the risk of open bite.

Treatment Options in Long Beach, CA

At Garlington Orthodontics, we have several options available to treat your open bite. 

Orthodontic Intervention: Orthodontic treatment, such as clear aligners, may be recommended to move the teeth into proper alignment gradually. This will also close the gap between the front teeth.

Surgery: In cases where the open bite is caused by underlying skeletal abnormalities, surgery may be necessary to reposition the jaws and achieve a proper bite relationship.

Behavioral Change: For those whose open bite is related to habits such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting, behavior changes can help break these habits. Over time, this will encourage proper oral function.

Additionally, early detection and intervention can help address an open bite and prevent complications. Furthermore, if we have access to your oral issues sooner, the better we can provide treatment. We can intervene before your issues cause other problems.