A dysfunctional tongue does not exert the forces that promote the growth and maintenance of teeth in their place.
The tooth is considered a dental organ that is articulated in a dental cavity formed in the alveolar bone. The fixation of the tooth is done thanks to the connective tissue: the “desmodontium” that surrounds the root of the tooth. The desmodontal ligament transmits information on dental stresses and movements through the dental nerve while providing pneumatic stress relief. The tooth is dependent in its balance on its neighbours but also on the teeth on the opposite arch. It is placed at the point of balance of dental forces but also of forces exerted outwards by the tongue on the one hand and inwards by the lips and cheeks on the other hand. A good occlusion, chewing, swallowing and physiological position of the tongue at rest help to maintain the balance of forces and therefore a correct and durable occlusion.
On the other hand, tongue dysfunctions upset this balance: they displace the teeth, do not widen the palate to give them space or prevent their growth. The result is a bad occlusion, called “malocclusion”.
These disorders appear mainly at night when continuous flare-ups occur, which have a restrictive effect on the dental arches.
The consequences of a malocclusion are diverse. First, a person with malocclusions has difficulty chewing food. In addition, when the teeth are not properly aligned, the tongue no longer cleans food residue between the teeth, increasing the risk of cavities or improper tooth implantation. This increases the risk of premature tooth loss.
Malocclusions are obviously visible and have a strong psychological impact and lead to a loss of self-confidence.
According to various studies, 60 to 80% of the population is or has been affected by malocclusions, more or less disabling. These malocclusions have many symptoms: asymmetries, bone shift, insufficient tooth growth, misalignment of the teeth…
This can result in facial disharmonies: in the chin, upper jaw, symmetry of the face…
The correction of malocclusions is achieved on a case-by-case basis, either by treatment at a dentist or by orthodontic treatment.
For the dentist, the treatment consists in restoring balance most often through a gutter and then various dental treatments; for the orthodontist, this treatment consists in exerting forces to move the teeth in order to align them and put them in so-called class I occlusion, sometimes including maxillo-facial surgery.
As lingual dysfunction is often the cause of malocclusions, failure to correct it may lead to longer and less stable treatment over time and recurrence after treatment. The glued containment thread is used to prevent the effects of recurrences… which occur as soon as these threads are removed.
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