For years, Cornwall Dental Arts has warned parents that thumb-sucking can cause future dental problems for their thumb-loving kids. One of these problems 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. A common cause of this is 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.
At Cornwall Dental Arts, we diagnose bite problems in young Cornwall dental patients such as underbites, overbites, crossbites and open bites. If dental treatment is started early in a child’s life, many bite issues and their associated problems can be prevented.
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