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Med Pregl. 2007 Mar-Apr;60(3-4):151-5.

[Etiological aspects of anterior open bite].

[Article in Serbian]

Author information

  • 1Klinika za ortopediju vilica, Stomatoloski fakultet Beograd. lilast@Eunet.yu



Open bite is a multifactorial phenomenon and no single factor can account for open-bite. Etiology plays an important role in diagnosis. Heredity, unfavorable growth patterns, incorrect jaw postoure, are the characteristics of skeletal open bite.


Depending on where the thumb is placed, a number of different types of dental problems can develop. Malocclusions of the late mixed or permanent dentitions, caused by thumb sucking are not self corrected and orthodontic treatment is necessary for their correction.


In order to produce oral respiration, the mandible is postured inferiorly with the tongue protruded and resting against the oral floor. This postural alteration induces dental and skeletal modifications similar to those caused by thumb sucking. This may cause excessive eruption of the posterior teeth, leading to an increase in the vertical dimension of the face and result in development of anterior open bite.


Tongue habits cause an anterior open bite or they develop secondarily to thumb sucking. In skeletal open bite the tongue habit acts as a secondary factor which helps to maintain or exacerbate the condition. Many orthodontists have had a discouraging experience of completing dental treatment, with what appeared to be good results, only to discover that the case had relapsed because the patient had a tongue thrust swallowing pattern.


Dentoalveolar or habitual open bite is caused by habits, which influence the growth and development of dentoalveolar processes and contribute to occlusal disharmonies. Prior to eruption of adult dentition, open bite related to oral habits is usually not a concern as when the habits stop, because the erupting dentition tends to improve spontaneously. Treatment is usually not necessary until permanent teeth erupt (approximately 6 years old).

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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