An open bite is when the top front teeth do not contact the bottom front teeth.
There are various causes of an open bite – it may be genetic (where the growth of the jaws are inherently in a direction away from each other), or it may be caused by a habit such as thumb sucking. It may also be caused by a forward resting tongue position or a habitual tongue thrust when speaking or swallowing.
This type of bite can cause difficulties with function, eating and speech.
Depending on the severity of the open bite, treatment could consist of either orthodontics alone, or orthodontics in combination with jaw surgery.