How To Fix An Open Bite In Malta

how to fix an open bite in malta

How your teeth meet and align when you bring them together in their rest position is known as occlusion. Ideally, your teeth should meet up against each other perfectly with your upper teeth resting just slightly further out of your lower teeth and the front cusp of your upper molars resting just in front of the front cusp of your lower molars.

However, teeth do not always match up as expected, leading to a condition known as malocclusion. there are several types of malocclusions. one common type is an open bite. In this article, we are going to look at how to fix an open bite in Malta, discussing its causes and how to prevent it.

What Is An Open Bite?

When a patient has an open bite, their upper and lower front teeth do not come together when they close their mouth. This results in an opening between the rows of teeth. An open bite not only affects the appearance of your smile, but it can also cause difficulty with speaking leading to different types of speech impediments like lisp.

What Are The Leading Causes Of Open Bite?

Three different factors contribute to an open bite and misalignment of teeth;

Jawbone Problems

Jawbone problems like TMJ – temporomandibular joint disorder – can cause an open bite. The patient may experience chronic pain in the jaw whenever they try to bring their teeth together. Hence, they may resort to pushing their tongue against the teeth to set them apart to put their jaw in a better soothing position.

A Mix Of Both Milk Teeth And Permanent Teeth In Children

When children have a combination of permanent and deciduous teeth, the teeth will not be able to close up well until they have lost all their baby teeth and grown all their adult teeth.

Personal Habits

A person’s habit can cause an open bite. For instance, people who adopt the tongue thrusting habit tend to develop an open bite. Tongue thrusting occurs when you push your tongue through your teeth when speaking or swallowing. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, this habit is more rampant during early childhood. However, most children grow out of it. Those who don’t may develop issues with their speech and bite.

Other habits that cause an open bite include;

  • Thumb sucking. According to the New Zealand Association of Orthodontist, at least 50% of people suck their thumb in early childhood. However, the habit only becomes an issue if it continues even after the permanent teeth have grown or when the child has a mix of milk and adult teeth.
  • Chewing on foreign objects like the ends of a pen or pencil and prolonged bottle or pacifier use also contribute to the problem.
  • Improper bottle or pacifier use
  • Mouth-breathers are also more prone to developing an anterior open bite.

Types Of Open Bite

Anterior Open Bite

This occurs when incisors and sometimes canines do not meet. It is caused by the conditions discussed above.

Posterior Open Bite

This means that when you bring your teeth together in their normal rest position some or all of your molars and premolars do not come in contact. A posterior open bite can be present unilaterally or bilaterally.

Incomplete Overbite

This often occurs when, although the top front teeth cover the lower front teeth when the teeth are brought together, the lower set of front teeth does not actually touch the upper set of front teeth.

Treatment Options

A study by the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics indicates that an open bite can be harder to treat than treating any other type of misaligned teeth.

Managing An Open Bite Caused By A Mix Of Baby And Permanent Teeth

When an open bite occurs in children with a mix of baby and permanent teeth, the problem can sometimes correct itself as the child loses baby teeth and more permanent ones erupt.

Related Reading: Child Dental Care In Malta : Frequently Asked Questions

Treating An Open Bite Caused By Jawbone Issues

An open bite caused by a skeletal issue like jawbones that do not fit together properly may require orthodontic surgery. The surgeon performing the procedure will need to manipulate one or both of your jawbones to allow realigning of the jaw bones for better-aligned teeth. This is called orthognathic surgery.

There are different orthodontic devices that can also be used to correct the opening in your bite. For instance, a dental appliance may help keep your tongue from pushing or forcing its way through the teeth. headgear can help reposition your jaws as well as correct your bite.

Fortunately, there is a wide array of treatment options available for an open bite. These treatment methods depend on various factors, including age, habits, patient compliance, underlying skeletal patterns and severity of the malocclusion.

A combination of fixed and removable orthodontics is the treatment of choice with orthognathic surgery being reserved for severe malocclusions. In adults, it may be impossible to correct an anterior open bite without surgery.

occlusion treatment in malta at savina dental clinics

How To Avoid An Open Bite

Since this condition is caused by a variety of factors, absolute prevention may not be possible. However, there are some things that you can do to minimise your risk of developing this biting problem.

Avoid Thumb Sucking Or Tongue Thrusting Habits

These habits tend to develop at a young age. parents are advised to watch over their children and try to help them break these habits. Once they stop, and if at a young age, the open bite tends to resolve on its own, although it might take a few years. If the habit has affected the development of the palate (it usually remains narrow and deep) the problem will need to be resolved through orthodontics.

Mouth- breathing is usually the result of partial blockage of the nasal cavities. several factors could contribute to this including a deviated nasal septum or nasal polyps ( granulation tissue in the nose). Visiting an ENT specialist to diagnose and treat the problem is highly advisable.

What Happens If You Do Not Treat An Open Bite?

This is one of the most common questions that we receive about this condition. If you do not treat an open bite;

  • It might affect your smile. Having a crooked smile can be embarrassing enough. But suffering from an open bite can take away your confidence and self-esteem.
  • If not treated, there is a high likelihood that you may develop a lisp. A lisp will affect not only your speech but also the effectiveness of your words when you speak.
  • In severe cases, an untreated open bit can inhibit you from chewing your food properly. Also, food and drinks may easily seep out of your tongue.

Since an open bite causes the back teeth to overlap more than necessary, it may cause tooth wear. After a prolonged period of time, this may lead to acute pain while chewing and may even cause other dental issues.

Narrow, high-vaulted palates increase the risk of fungal infections on the roof of the mouth due to cleaning difficulties.

Have You Tried Our Free e-Consultation Service?

If you are worried about a dental related issue, interested in travelling to Malta for a dental holiday or have questions about any of the treatments we offer, please contact us using our new free e-Consultation service. One of our highly-qualified team will respond to your query as soon as possible. Our e-Consultation service is live 9am – 6pm Monday to Friday.

If you would like to schedule an in-person consultation at Savina Dental, please book your appointment using this form.

Savina Clinic – Dental & Implantology Centres are friendly, state-of-the-art practices in Malta and Gozo dedicated to comprehensive quality dental care. Savina Dental is an innovative dental practice in Malta and prides itself on the high-quality customer service, low waiting room times, attention to detail and the advanced dental technology at their disposal.

Dr Joseph Xuereb
Dental & Implant Surgeon. Principal
Savina Dental Clinics

Joseph Xuereb
Joseph Xuereb
Principal Dental Surgeon & Owner of Savina Dental Clinics, Dr Joseph Xuereb BChD (Hons), MFGDP(UK), MGDS RCS(Eng), FFGDP RCS(UK), FICD is a general dental practitioner with a special interest in Implant and Restorative Dentistry. Dr Joseph & the teams' full biographical information can be found here.
  • "I just wanted to thank you for the dental treatment I received at your clinic on the afternoon of…" (Graham Consterdine)
    "Absolutely delighted with the results and the price was less than originally quoted.Friendly and…" (George Chapman)
    "Prior to the commencement 3 years ago I had visited dentists less than 10 times in the previous 60…" (Kenneth Page)
    "Was carried out over a number of visits from UK as clinical need arose. Absolutely no pain. Mr…" (Jennifer Page)
    "Save and sound back in the UK after my treatment at your clinic. Just a brief note of thanks…" (Joan Gabbitus)
    "Teeth feel as my own. Evening meals a delight. Grazzi hafna. Dave Dyke." (David Dyke)
    "Dear Joseph, I am still smiling and my family are very impressed. Things are progressing much as…" (Margaret Peacock)
    "Dear Dr Joseph, Just wanted to thank you for my lovely new teeth. Wonderful to be able to eat…" (Hugh Burns)
    ""i would like to say how scared i was of dentists until savina clinic my teeth were in very bad…" (Val Dick)
    ""Dr Xuereb, or Joseph as he likes to be called offered me excellent treatment and customer service…" (J Pulling)
    ""My partner and I had very succesful dental treatments in May 2009, having found Savina Clinic on…" (Michael Cleere)
    "I was extremely happy and satisfied with my treatment. The staff were extremely friendly, the…" (Francesca Smyth)
    "I am very happy with my experience in Malta. The staff is very friendly and would recommend the…" (Jim O'Mahony)
    "I have been using dentists for over 50 years, and Dr. Xuereb is one of the best that I have ever…" (Thomas P Leckinger)
    "I am very pleased with the Zoom Bleaching. My teeth went from between shade 6/7 to shade 2 in less…" (Andrea Fichera)
    "I am very pleased with Savina clinic and the prices they gave me on email are respected. The staff…" (Caroline Demay)
    "Hi Marlene, Everything is fine with me, I am very happy with the treatment I received and…" (Eileen Lee)
    "Hi Marlene, Hope you are all keeping well. My 2 ceramic veneers are great and I am very happy…" (Tara Cronogue)
    "First of all I please allow me to thank you and all your staff for giving me the courage and…" (Patrick Fenech)
    "Dear Dr Xuereb, We arrived home yesterday from Zurich and all is well here. Spring is in vibrant…" (Elaine Fothergill)
    "Dear Dr. Xuereb Thank you so much for your reply of 22 August. Again, many thanks for your several…" (Clotilde Mifsud)
    "Dr. Xuereb I continue to walk around grinning like a Cheshire cat - thank you very…" (Gerry Slater)
    "Hi Marlene, well back to rainy Ireland, I've had no problems with my crowns and fillings and…" (Nicola Moore)
    "We just thought we would send you a quick e-mail to say thank you very much for all the hard work…" (Caroline Wall)
    "Hi Joseph, Thank you so much for everything, can you please thank everyone at your practice…" (Emma Pisano)
    "Dear Joseph Many thanks for your note and your good wishes. The gum/tooth has improved…" (Carol Mellor)
    "Hello, Thanks for the below email. I would like to take this opportunity to say how pleased I…" (Alan Pratt)
    "Dear Joseph Having safely return to Ulster I wanted to express my thanks for the care and…" (Steven McBride)
    "Hi Jo Thanks for your e-mail around christmas time. We all had a great time all the families…" (Manya Bartick)
    "Hi dear Joe, I do hope you and Elsie had a really good trip to UK and Rome and that, in spite of…" (Liz Genton Eames)
    "Hi Dr., Back in Ireland and in work. Thank you for the work you have done for me so far. I…" (Teresa Igoe)
    "Thank you for you e-mail, we have just returned from Cyprus, had a fine time. The bridge and teeth…" (Alan McHale)
    "Dear Joseph, I am extremely well, and as before I am very,very happy with the work that you,…" (Donny Nisbet)
    "Hi Dr. Xuereb, Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. You always explained…" (Eleanor O'Byrne)
    "Dear Joe, Thank you for seeing David so promptly, and providing such wonderful treatment. Things…" (David Grainger)
    "Hello Joe Do you remember Caroline who came for 3 implants at the beginning of September this…" (Caroline Holden)
    "I had an emergency broken tooth and found Savina on I was somewhat nervous as I…" (Ken Gord)
    " Carol Mellor Facebook Xlendi Bay, Gozo - Appointment with my dentist…" (Carol Mellor)
    "Thank you once again Dr Xuereb for great fit of my teeth and it is wonderful to see a surgeon with…" (Maria Bonello)
    "Dear Marlene, I really appreciate your concern, thank you. I also found your missed calls - you…" (Josette Galea)
    "Dear Marlene I hope you are well. Thanks for your email and the x-ray attachments. I had a…" (Annette Moore)
    "Hi Dear Marlene and all, May I take this opportunity to give you my heartfelt thanks to all of…" (Tony Cassar)
    "very happy........with my new teeth!  Thanks Joseph and crew. Julie" (Julie Edwards)
    "Dear Joseph, It will come as little surprise to you that I am blown away by the completion of…" (Peter Drummond)
    "Hi Marlene, Had final adjustments to the bite today, only tried a xxxx peppermint.  Eating this…" (David Dyke)
    "Hi. I just wanted to thank you again for the treatment. I was particularly impressed that you…" (Chris Moffit)
    "Joseph, I just thought I'd drop you a quick email to say how pleased I am with the implants and…" (Peter Drummond)
    "Dear Dr Xuereb, I hope you are well. I just wanted to let you know that the implant itself…" (R. Fava)
    "Dear Dr Joseph, sorry for the delay in writing to thank you and everyone concerned re my recent…" (P.Jones)
    "Dear Dr Xuereb I would like to say thank you for your perseverance, patience and…" (E. Brown)
    "Thank you your practice is the best I've ever been to and the staff are brilliant as I'm so scared…" (S.Humphrey)
    "Good morning Joe and team.  Can't tell you how pleased I am with my new look which, I may add,…" (Jenni C.)
    "Dear Dr's Xuereb & Farrugia Having completed my implants in March/ July 2014, which have…" (Richings Mr/Mrs)
    "Dr. X and Marlene - We hope that you are well and wish everyone in the offices a Happy New…" (Michael Campbell)
    "To Dr Xuereb and Staff., Thank u Kindly for the Positive Support U gave me During My Treatment…" (Maria B)
    "Hello, I would like to thank you all for the perfect care I have received at your clinic and…" (Andrea K H)
    "Dear Dr Xuereb  Everything is absolutely fine and I am truly delighted with the result. Thank…" (Pamela C)
    "Hello Doctor Xuereb. Now we are back at home and we like to take the opportunity to say thank…" (A Kaun)
    "To: Dr. Joseph Xuereb  Good morning from Mellieha!  I have been meaning to write to you to…" (J.Saliba)
    "Hello Marlene, I should like to say how delighted I am with Dr Joseph Xuereb's treatment. It has…" (A.Mann)
    " My new implants are great!  No complaints.  My teeth feel natural and my eating time has…" (T.Murphy)
    "Hi Marlene, Firstly I really enjoyed Malta, especially the boat trip to Gozo.  The Maltese are…" (David E.)
    "Joseph, sincere and very many thanks for all your work today. Very professional reassuring and top…" (John S-S)
    "Friendly and professional service. I like the way I was treated as an intelligent and thinking…" (Josanne D.B.)
    "Just came out from Savina Clinic and was treated very good I recommend this clinic to the fullest.…" (Kylie F.)
    "Love how they explain every single process! Everything new & with latest technology" (Miguel G.)
    "Highly recommend!" (Alexandra M.B.)
    "Absolutely awesome service; They answered my emails, gave me neutral information what options I…" (Tatu O)
    "Good afternoon Dr.J.Xuereb  A VERY BIG THANK YOU for a wonderful competent treatment and for a…" (Terese S.)
    "Dear Joseph. Sincere thanks for your kind e mail. Hope you had a great break away ! It was my…" (John S.S.)
    ""Dear Joseph, Wonderful,  tried out on fresh roasted chicken...  Very pleased, as always…" (Dave D)