Jul 07, 2012 · Tongue thrusting can adversely affect the teeth and mouth. A person swallows from 1,200 to 2,000 times every 24 hours with about four pounds (1.8 kg) of pressure each time. If a person suffers from tongue thrusting, this continuous pressure tends to force the teeth out of alignment. Since there are a standard number of teeth in humans, the size of the dental arch is of vital importance in determining how the teeth are positioned when they appear. While the arch can expand as a child grows, a small arch will force the teeth to grow close together. This can result in overlapping and improperly positioned teeth.
In some cases, removing some teeth is an option for correcting overjet. This is more common in adult cases. Examples when this treatment approach would be considered are: The patient’s upper jaw isn’t large enough to accommodate all the adult teeth. The patient’s lower jaw has a shorter arch, due to missing teeth or underdevelopment. A crossbite occurs when the top teeth don't align correctly with the bottom teeth. A posterior crossbite involves the back teeth, and can lead to uneven growth of the jaw (mandibular asymmetry) as well as chewing problems. In many cases an appliance, such as the quad-helix, is used to widen the dental arch and correct the crossbite.