Friday, May 6, 2016

Learn More About Tongue Thrusting

Tongue thrusting is defined as the habit of placing the tongue in the wrong position during swallowing, either too far forward or to the sides. It is estimated that every 24 hours, you swallow a total of 1,200 to 2,000 times, with about four pounds of pressure per swallow.  Tongue thrusting occurs when the patient presses his or her tongue against the front teeth, usually when swallowing, speaking or resting the tongue. If thrusting is constant, this can cause problems with teeth alignment and must be fixed.

Lucky for you, Beisiegel Orthodontics can assist patients with this problem by correcting it usually with a tongue thrusting appliance. Keep reading to learn a little more about the different types of tongue thrusting that occur in our patients.

Different types of tongue thrusting:

There are several variations of tongue-thrust and related orthodontic problems:
  1. Anterior open bite — This is the most typical and common form of tongue thrust. In such cases, the lips do not close properly, and a child often has an open mouth and tongue protruding beyond the lips. Generally, this type of tongue thrust is accompanied by a large tongue.
  2. Anterior thrust — The lower lip pulls in the lower incisors and the upper incisors are extremely protruded. The anterior thrust is frequently accompanied by a strong muscle of the chin (mentalis).
  3. Unilateral thrust — The bite is typically open on either side.
  4. Bilateral thrust — Posterior teeth from the first bicuspid through back molars can be open on both sides and the anterior bite is closed. The bilateral thrust is the most difficult to correct.
  5. Bilateral anterior open bite — The only teeth that touch are the molars. The bite is completely open on both sides, including the front teeth. A large tongue is often noted.
  6. Closed bite thrust — Both the upper and lower teeth are spread apart and flared out. The closed-bite thrust is typically a double protrusion.
We prefer to correct tongue thrusting by giving patients a tongue thrusting appliance. This appliance, similar to a mouth guard, is usually worn at night. Other times, a more permanent appliance is prescribed and can be only be adjusted by the Beisiegel Orthodontics office.

Do you want more information on this? Contact us today at 802-658-4447.

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