Parents have always been warned that thumb-sucking can have a negative impact on the dental health for kids. One of the problems we see at Vanguard Dental Group in Derry NH is a type of malocclusion called an open bite.
An open bite occurs when the front teeth in the lower and upper jaw have been moved forward; often to the extent that they do not meet when the mouth is closed. In most cases, an open bite has been caused by thumb sucking, but pacifiers and tongue thrusting can also move teeth out of alignment.
Tongue thrusting refers to an abnormal swallowing action in which the tongue is pushed forward during swallowing. Normally, the tongue is on the roof of the mouth and the teeth closed completely when swallowing. A tongue-thrusting habit can develop due to factors other than thumb sucking, though this is a common cause. Allergies, large tonsils, tongue size, jaw angle, muscular problems, frequent sore throats, and anything that makes swallowing difficult can result in a tongue-thrusting habit.
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