If you have recently started taking your child to the dentist, then this professional will look for signs and symptoms of potential oral health problems. Issues can be quite varied, and you may learn that some dental issues stem from your child's specific oral habits or behaviors. This is something that is seen when your child tongue thrusts. Keep reading to learn what this is, why it can cause dental problems, and how the issue can be resolved.
What Is Tongue Thrusting?
Tongue thrusting is when the tongue is forced towards the front of the mouth when you swallow. This type of behavior is common in infants because it assists with the swallowing of fluids. Also, the muscles towards the back of the mouth are not strong enough to move food down the throat. However, the muscles do gain strength, and most infants stop tongue thrusting about the time they reach six months.
If the muscles remain weak, then the tongue thrusting continues. Specifically, the movement of the tongue is needed to force food to the back of the mouth and down the esophagus.
Unfortunately, tongue thrusting causes the tongue to press against the front teeth. Over time, this causes them to shift forward. The bottom of the teeth may angle out towards the front of the mouth and an overbite will also be created. This can cause biting and chewing issues. Also, tongue pressure can create an indentation in the soft palate that lines the top of the mouth. This can contribute to the malformation of the mouth and the possibility of the tissues protruding up into the nasal passages. This can cause breathing difficulties.
How Is the Issue Resolved?
Tongue thrusting issues can be resolved in a few different ways. Your child's dentist may make an appliance that is fitted into the mouth and prevents the tongue from thrusting forward. This helps to reduce overbite concerns and it also forces the muscles of the mouth to become stronger so your child can swallow normally.
You also may be asked to take your child to a speech pathologist. This professional will teach your child how to swallow, talk, and chew without thrusting the tongue. The individual can also show your child how to complete exercises that strengthen the mouth muscles.
The severity of your child's problem and their age will determine the best course of treatment. Check out site like http://www.neufamilydental.com and speak with your child's dentist about your options and what you think may be best for your son or daughter.