Mewing and Malocclusions

Mewing and Malocclusions

Malocclusion, a common dental condition characterized by misaligned teeth and jaw, has significant implications for both oral health and aesthetics.

This article explores the critical yet often overlooked connection between tongue positioning and the development of malocclusions.
 
  
Mewing Posture and Crooked teeth.
 
    

The effect of Tongue Posture on Malocclusions.

When we think about the tongue, its roles in tasting and speaking often come to mind first.

However, its importance extends further, particularly in how it rests in the mouth. This seemingly small detail is crucial in shaping our dental arch and aligning the jaw properly.

         
Different Malocclusions are usually caused by different tongue posture.
       
  

In this exploration, we'll uncover the ways in which improper tongue positioning can lead to malocclusions.

Moreover, we'll see how adjusting the tongue's position can be a key factor in either preventing these dental issues or lessening their impact.

 

The Basics of Malocclusion

Malocclusion refers to the misalignment of teeth and bite, which can manifest in various forms such as overbite, underbite, crossbite, and open bite.

While genetics largely determine jaw structure and teeth alignment, environmental factors and habits, particularly during childhood, also play a crucial role.

Tongue posture is an important factor that dictates the way that the jaw griws along with the teeth.

 

Tongue Posture and its Impact

A correct tongue posture entails the entire tongue pressing lightly against the roof of the mouth, just behind the front teeth, without touching the teeth.

 

The effect of Tongue Posture on Jaw Growth and teeth

   

This position supports the natural arch shape of the upper jaw. Conversely, a low-resting tongue or a forward tongue thrust can exert undue pressure on the teeth, potentially leading to misalignments.

 

Tongue Positions and malocclusions

       

Tongue Positions and Malocclusion

       
  1. Ideal Occlusion: The tongue rests against the palate, leading to a broad dental arch and shallow palate with an intermolar width of 42mm, considered ideal.

  2. Touching Upper Teeth: Tongue touching the upper teeth, often due to crowded wisdom teeth, results in a 37mm intermolar width and minor lower incisor crowding. Facial shape remains good, with little need for orthodontics.

  3. Upper and Lower Teeth Crowding: Characterized by a class 1-2 malocclusion with the tongue not resting on the palate. Intermolar width is about 30mm, indicating moderate crowding.

  4. Open/Deep Bite: The tongue exerts a splitting force, biting between teeth, leading to a 34mm+ intermolar width, inward tooth movement, and tongue markings.

  5. Class 3 Malocclusion: The tongue rests on the mouth's floor, causing the upper jaw to collapse and the lower jaw to protrude, resulting in a longer jaw over time.

   
 

Low Tongue Posture and Narrow Palate

A low tongue position, where the tongue rests at the bottom of the mouth, can contribute to a narrow upper jaw or a high-arched palate.

      

Mewing narrow palate

Mewing widens the Maxilla and palate

       

This condition often leads to crowded teeth and a crossbite, where the upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth.

  

Take-Away

Understanding the connection between tongue positions and malocclusion offers a new perspective on preventive oral health care.

While not a standalone solution for severe malocclusions, correct tongue posture (mewing) can play a significant role in maintaining dental alignment and overall oral health.

It's a reminder of how small habitual changes can have a substantial impact on our well-being.

 

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