Tongue thrust (also called reverse swallow or immature swallow) is the commonly used name for an oral myofunctional disorder. It is a dysfunctional muscle pattern in which the tongue protrudes anteriorly or laterally during swallowing, during speech, and while the tongue is at rest. When a child thrusts tongue, it exerts pressure against the front teeth, resulting in the misalignment of teeth. The teeth may protrude, creating an overbite, and occasionally lead to the improper speech development.
A Speech pathologist is recommended for consultation if you notice any such symptoms of tongue thrusting in your child. The pathologist can aid in developing a treatment plan to strengthen the chewing muscles of the child and create a new swallowing pattern.
In lip sucking, the child repeatedly holds the lower lip beneath the upper front teeth. The child may develop this habit independently or in the combination with thumb sucking. The aftermath of such a habit is same as with thumb sucking and tongue thrusting which is overbite and misalignment of teeth. The remedy to stop lip sucking is same as for thumb sucking.
Early Tooth Loss
Tooth decay, injury, or lack of jaw space results in premature loss of a kid’s bay tooth. If any tooth is lost prematurely, the nearby teeth may take up the space. It results in taking away the standard space required by a permanent tooth. When it emerges it at times faces lack of space.
You may ask a dentist for a space maintainer in case your child prematurely loses a tooth. A space maintainer is a plastic or metal device that holds open the space left by the missing tooth. It will be removed by your dentist once the permanent teeth begin to erupt.