Impacts Of An Uncorrected Open Bite:Some of the potential impacts of an open bite include:
1. Speech issues- due to poor oral motor control
2. Dribbling; because there is poor lip seal due to weakness.
3. Reverse thrust tongue posture- where the action of swallowing causes the tongue to thrust forward between the teeth.
4. Increased incidence of ear infections as a consequence of reverse suck -swallow pattern. The muscles at the back of the throat are not strong and are not being used efficiently to drain the eustachian tubes (ear canals).
5. Mouth breathing- is much more common when we have an open bite and a poor lip seal. (There is much research on the negative health impacts of mouth breathing).
6. Requirement for expensive and painful orthodontic work.
MalocclusionMalocclusion means imperfect positioning of the teeth when the jaws are closed. Up to 80% of children have malocclusions. Occlusion is defined as: The anatomical alignment of the teeth and their relationship to the rest of the masticatory system i.e. lips, tongue and all the structures involved in speech and in the reception, mastication, and deglutition of food. Occlusion is the relationship of the teeth in the upper jaw (maxilla) and lower jaw bone (mandible) when the jaws are closed.
What is normal “ideal occlusion”There is a very complex process to assess what is a perfect occlusion. But……….”Normal” in physiology is always a range, never a point. A balanced, stable, healthy and aesthetically attractive occlusion is also passible with slight imperfections of teeth position. You may have heard the words: Open bite, under-bite, over bite, cross-bite. …..these are all ways of describing malocclusions or imperfect bites.
There are 3 classes of Malocclusion:
“Class 1” or normal occlusion
“Class 2” Malocclusion or “Overbite”
“Class 3” Malocclusion or “Underbite”
Class 2 Over-Bite:In Class 2 over bite the top teeth significantly overlap the lower teeth. This causes the jaw joints to sit further back into the skull than they should. Some of the causes of overbites include: Genetics: Overbites will usually occur when there is an underdeveloped lower jaw in relation to the upper jaw. This is very common in Westernised societies and may well be due to the lack of chewing ( see article on lost art of chewing). Often a familial trait in many families. Habits: Use of a pacifier or sucking a thumb for an extended period of time will alter the growth and development of the jaw and facial area.
Tongue-tie/Restriction: When a child has a tongue-restiction it will cause problems with the growth and development of the mandible (lower jaw). This is due to the limited movement of the tongue and the tendency for it to sit low in the mouth- not up on the roof of the mouth.
Forward head posture: With the ever increasing technology use by children from an even younger age, we are finding more issues with forward head posture. One of the adaptations that the body makes when the head moves forward is that the lower jaw retracts (moves back).
The Myo Munchee can help correct Class 2 Overbites in children under the age of 8 years. When the Myo Munchee is in your mouth it brings the lower jaw forward into a class 1 occlusion, which is where it should be.
When the appliance is chewed in this position it will stimulate and activate the muscle groups of the lower jaw/face and throat which when strengthened will help to hold the lower jaw forward.
The Myo Munchee is a very useful appliance at any age to assist in oral facial balance and can be worn overnight to assist with upper jaw (maxillary) arch expansion