An Open Bite occurs when there is a large space between your top and bottom teeth when your jaws are closed. An Anterior Open Bite (as shown in the above illustration) results in a large space between your front top and bottom teeth (incisors). A Posterior Open Bite results in a large space between your back top and bottom teeth (molars). Sometimes an Open Bite is only partial — only some of the teeth do not come together properly.
An Open Bite is usually cased by childhood thumb sucking or pacifier use, tongue thrusting, airway problems, or TMJD. If left untreated, it can cause problems with proper chewing and speaking. Depending on the age of the patient, treatment may include an appliance to remedy the tongue thrusting habit, braces, and in some cases jaw surgery.