Open bite malocclusion
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Open bite is a type of orthodontic malocclusion which has been estimated to occur in 0.6% of the people in the United States. This type of malocclusion has no vertical overlap or contact between the anterior incisors. The prevalence varies between different populations, for instance, occurring with 16% in black people and 4% in white people. The term "open bite" was coined by Carevelli in 1842.[clarification needed]
- 1 Causes
- 2 Types
- 3 Open bite correction
- 4 Stability and relapse
- 5 See also
- 6 References
Open bite malocclusion can happen due to several reasons. It may be genetic in nature, leading to a skeletal open bite or can be caused by functional habits which may lead to dental open bite. In the earlier age, open bite may occur due to a transitional change from primary to the permanent dentition. Some factors that may cause an open bite are:
- Tongue thrusting
- Thumb sucking
- Long-term usage of Pacifier
- Airway obstruction
- Adenoid hypertrophy
- Nasal concha Hypertrophy
Anterior open bite
An anterior open bite occurs in humans when the front teeth fail to touch and there is no overlap between upper incisors and lower incisors. Anterior open can be caused by functional habits such as digit sucking, tongue thrust or long-term pacifier use. When digit sucking habit is present in the late primary to early mixed dentition stages, it can lead to different side-effects such as upper teeth flaring out, lower teeth flaring in, increase in the open bite and the overjet. A posterior crossbite in these children along with decrease in intercanine and intermolar width is also found. The more intense (longer) the habit, the worse the malocclusion may be.
Pacifier use has also shown to cause anterior open bites in children. Pacifier use which lasts longer than 18 months, may cause this malocclusion. It is shown that as long as the sucking habit stops before the eruption of permanent teeth, the open bite self-corrects. In some cases, behavior modification may be necessary to eliminate the dental habits. If all else fails, then a tongue crib can be used.
Posterior open bite
Posterior open bite is caused when posterior teeth such as molars or premolars fail to touch their counterpart tooth. This is more likely to occur in segments where there may be unilateral open bite or open bite related to one or more teeth. Failure of eruption of teeth either due to primary failure or mechanical obstruction during eruption phase can cause the open bite. Sometimes lateral tongue thrust may also prevent the eruption of the posterior teeth, thus eliminating this habit maybe key to eruption in those instances.
Skeletal open bite
Patient with skeletal open bites that accompany dental open bites may have Adenoid faces or Long face syndrome. They are said to have what is known as Hyperdivergent Growth Pattern which includes characteristics such as:
- Increased Lower Anterior Facial Height
- Occlusal plane diverges after the 1st molar contact
- May accompany dental open bite
- Narrow nostrils with upturned nose
- Dolicofacial or Leptoprosopic face pattern
- Constricted maxillary arch
- Bilateral Posterior Crossbite
- High and narrow palatal vault
- Presence of crowding in teeth
- Mentalis muscle strain upon forcibly closing of lips
- Possible gummy smile with increased interlabial gap
- Increased Frankfurt-Mandibular Plane angle
- Steep Occlusal Plane Angle
- Increased SN-MP Angle
- Short Mandibular ramus
- Increased mandibular body length
- Downward and backward position of mandible
- Increased gonial angle
- Proclined upper incisors, retroclined or upright lower incisors
- Posterior part of maxilla is tipped downwards
- Posterior facial height equals 1/2 of anterior facial height
- Increased hard tissue Lower Anterior Facial Height
- Increased total anterior facial height
- Short mandibular ramus
Viken Sassouni developed Sassouni analysis which indicates that patient's with long face syndrome have 4 of their bony planes (mandibular plane, occlusal plane, palatal plane, SN plane) steep to each other.
Dental open bite
Dental open bite occurs in patients where the anterior teeth fail to touch. However, this is not accompanied by the skeletal tendency of having an open bite. Thus this type of open bite may happen in patients who have horizontal or hypodivergent growth pattern. These patients have normal jaw growth and do not have the long face syndrome. The anterior open bite in these patients may be caused by Macroglossia, Tongue thrusting habit or digit sucking habits. Some of the characteristics of a dental open bite include:
- Normal lower anterior facial height
- Horizontal/Hypodivergent growth pattern
- Occlusal plane diverges after the premolar contact
- Under-eruption of the anterior incisors
- Over-eruption of the posterior molars
- Proclined upper and lower incisors
- No vertical maxillary excess or gummy smile
- Presence of habits such as thumb sucking, tongue thrusting
- Spacing between anterior incisors due to their proclination
Open bite correction
Behavior therapy is important especially when the kids are in their primary dentition in the pre-adolescent age. Improving habits at this time may lead to self-correction of open bite in many cases. Sometimes presence of infantile swallowing into early childhood may lead to an anterior open bite in patients. Habit control through appliances such as Tongue crib or Tongue spurs may be used in adolescent ages if the behavior modification fails to stop the habit.
Tongue crib therapy
Tongue crib is a removable applianced placed in the maxillary arch for the purpose of stopping the tongue thrusting habit. This appliance maybe used in patients with mixed dentition or permanent dentition. Tongue crib is attached through a bar to two bands placed on the upper 1st molars. The crib is shaped like a horseshoe with metal bars that prevent the thrusting habit. Tongue crib is known to eliminate habits in about 90% of the patients. (citation needed). Huang et al. published a study in 1990 which stated that patients who achieved a positive overbite during their tongue crib therapy had a good chance of maintaining that overbite after their orthodontic treatment. They credited this change to a change in the posterior positioning of the tongue due to the crib therapy.
Some of the side-effects of using a tongue-crib therapy is that this appliance may trap a lot of food which may cause inflammation around the appliance. In addition, repeated contact of tongue with the appliance may also lead to an imprint on the tongue which will self-resolve once the appliance is removed. It is important to note that this type of therapy will only work in patients who do not have a skeletal open bite tendency. Skeletal open bite tendency may be addressed via surgery or other treatments depending on the severity.
Blue Grass appliance
It's a type of appliance which is similar to Nance appliance, but instead of acrylic pad that rests on the anterior palate, this appliance has a plastic roller that patient can use their tongue to break their habit. This appliance is banded to the upper 1st molars and bars extend the appliance to anterior palate where the plastic roller is placed.
Vertical pull chin cup
Hakan Iscan and others used vertical pull chin cup in 17 patients for 9 months where they applied 400g of force on each side. Compared to controls, they found that patients included in the experimental group had increased eruption of the mandibular incisors, decrease of the ramal inclination, decrease of the mandibular plane, increase of the overbite, decrease of the gonial angle and increase of the mandibular corpus inclination were found. They stated that vertical chin cup maybe effective in treating skeletal open bite patients. However, Pedrin et al used removable plate with palatal crib and combined it with a high-pull chin cup in 30 patients for 12 months and compared it to 30 patients who were followed with no treatment. They found that no positive skeletal influence on the vertical facial pattern of patients treated for open bite in the mixed dentition by their stated protocol. Another study stated that there is no positive effect of vertical pull chin cup in controlling the vertical facial height and that close of an anterior open bite was mostly done by dentoalveolar changes.
Correction of open bite in permanent dentition may involve extrusion of the anterior teeth or intrusion of the posterior teeth. This decision depends on the incisor show on smiling for a patient. If a patient has normal incisor show at rest smile, than molar intrusion may be done in these type of faces. Extrusion of anterior teeth in these patients will lead to excessive gummy smile which in some cases is not desirable. If a patient does not have a normal incisor show at rest and smile, then anterior extrusion may be done in these patients.
This appliance can be used with patients who are growing and in permanent dentition. This appliance has been advocated to be used mainly for controlling the vertical dimension by applying force to intrude molars.
Elastics have been used to correct anterior dental open bite. These elastics can be in configuration of triangular or anterior vertical elastics.
R. Kuster and B. Ingerval in 1992, used two types of bite blocks to evaluate their effect on skeletal open bite patients. One group of patients had spring-loaded bite block for one year and other group had repelling magnets as bite blocks for 3 months. Both type of bite blocks exerted intrusive force on both upper and lower posterior teeth. They saw 3mm improvement in overbite with magnet group and 1.3mm improvement in overbite with spring-loaded group. They concluded that this effect resulted due to counter-clockwise rotation of mandible which was caused by intrusion of posterior teeth and increased eruption of incisors.
There are not systematic reviews or randomized clinical control trials related to correction of open bite with partial tongue glossectomy but several case reports have been published indicating successful treatment of open bite with this surgical approach. Macroglossia has been reported to cause open bite and bimaxillary protrusion and is also known to be make orthodontic treatment unstable after its completion.
An orthognathic surgical approach can be taken to correct an open bite once vertical growth has finished in male and female patients. At that time, a Le-Fort I osteotomy to impact the maxilla is usually done. According to Proffit et al, surgical movement that involves maxillary impaction is the most stable surgical movement in the hierarchy they established. A two jaw surgery can also be performed where Bilateral Sagittal Split Osteotomy can be done to correct any Antero-Posterior changes of the mandible. However, with two jaw surgery a relapse leading to bite opening may happen due to condylar remodeling and resorption.
Stability and relapse
Surgery vs. non-surgery
Geoffrey Greenlee and others published a meta-analysis in 2011 which concluded that patients with orthognathic surgical correction of open bite had 82% stability in comparison to non-surgical correction of open bite which had 75% of stability after 1or more year of treatment. Both the groups started with 2-3mm of open bite initially.
Man-Suk Baek and others evaluated long-term stability of anterior open bite by intrusion of maxillary posterior teeth. Their results showed that the molars were intruded by 2.39mm during treatment and relapsed back by 0.45mm or 22.8%. The incisal overbite increased by 5.56mm during treatment and relapsed back by 1.20mm or 17%. They concluded that majority of the relapse occurred during first year of treatment.
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