In a normal scenario, when you bite, your upper front teeth overlap your lower front teeth vertically and horizontally by 2mm each. A condition where your upper front teeth rest on your lower front teeth or completely cover them is also called a closed bite.
This occurs due to reduced vertical length of the teeth due to wear off.
What causes a Closed Bite?
The major cause of a closed bite is wearing of teeth. This occurs due to teeth grinding or bruxism. A lot of reasons like TMJ disorder, stress, lifestyle and improper restorations can trigger off teeth grinding or bruxism.
Due to teeth grinding, the height of teeth reduces and there is a loss of vertical dimension of the bite. This also reflects in the appearance of the face where the facial tissue appears reduced giving you an old look. In some patients, this closed bite can give an appearance of ‘no teeth’ on smiling.
An uncorrected closed bite can accelerate tooth wear and lead to sensitivity in teeth, gum and bone problems around the teeth.
How can we treat it?
The treatment option depends upon the severity and condition of the teeth. The best option to treat a closed bite is by orthodontic treatment. It is aimed at opening the bite. In mild cases, the bite is often raised with crowns or onlays. This bite raise allows the front teeth to be seen. If the front teeth need contouring(shaping), veneers or crowns, they can be restored accordingly to improve the overall aesthetics of the smile.
An important aspect of treating a closed bite, is to remove the cause. Any restoration done to improve the smile can fail if the cause of the closed bite is not corrected or removed.
Do you think you have a closed bite? Visit your dentist today for an evaluation.