Hábitos Orales Malposiciones

Oral Habits and Malpositions

“A habit is considered as the custom or practice acquired by frequent repetition of the same act which is initially done in a conscious and then unconscious manner.” There are two types of habits, “one being physiological or functional habits, such as nasal breathing, chewing, speech and swallowing, and non-physiological habits such as thumb, pacifier or lip sucking, mouth breathing, tongue thrusting at rest and infant swallowing”. It has been shown that “non-physiological habits are one of the etiological factors causing malocclusions or deformities” dento-skeletal, “which can alter the normal development of the stomatognathic system and cause an imbalance between buccal and perioral muscular forces, which ultimately leads to bone deformation that will have less or more impact depending on the age at which the habit begins, the younger the age the greater the damage because the bone has greater ability to mold”.

Types of oral habits:

– Atypical swallowing: It is characterized by the interposition of the tongue between the dental arches in the act of swallowing, this is called protractile tongue.

– Digital suction: Digital suction is the habit of introducing one or more fingers (usually the thumb) into the oral cavity. This habit must finally be interrupted, because if it continues after the permanent teeth have erupted, it can lead to alterations of the occlusion causing essentially, an anterior open bite and the pressure exerted by the hand and arm leads to a unilateral crossbite by deviation of the mandible.

– Suction of other fingers: It consists in the same way of introducing fingers other than the above mentioned into the oral cavity. (Index, index and middle, middle and ring, several fingers).

– Lip suction: This habit is present in malocclusions that are accompanied by a large incisor protrusion, although it can also appear as a variant or substitution of digital suction. In most cases the lower lip is involved, although nibbling habits of the upper lip have been observed. Repeated interposition of the lower lip between the two incisors results in upper protrusion, lingualization of the mandibular incisor front, with consequent increased protrusion and an anterior open bite.

– Onychophagia: The habit of nail biting is usually a substitution for the act of sucking the thumb or pacifier. It should not be reprimanded, because it is usually linked to serious emotional disturbances and only produces pressure on the teeth. However, some authors believe that the sonophagia interferes with the normal development of the face and may result, depending mainly on the frequency and intensity, in the predominance of the vertical component of facial growth, which, in conjunction with atypical swallowing, results in the emergence of the anterior open bite. In some cases tooth intrusion is observed, especially of the upper incisors.

– Thumb suction: Consists of introducing the thumb into the oral cavity.

– Bruxism: It is defined as a non-functional habit of forced contact between the occlusal surfaces of the teeth, involuntary, excessive grinding, clenching or rubbing of the teeth during functional movements of the masticatory system. Bruxism can occur during the day or at night. Teeth grinding usually occurs during nighttime sleep, which has been named bruxism and is associated with craniomandibular disorders including headaches, temporomandibular joint discomfort, muscle pain, premature tooth loss due to excessive wear and mobility, and disruption of the individual’s sleep. It also has consequences on the facial appearance, as muscle hypertrophy occurs, especially of the masseter muscles.

– Oral breathing: Since respiratory needs are the main determinant of the posture of the jaws and tongue, and of the head itself to a lesser extent, it seems very reasonable that an altered breathing pattern, such as breathing through the mouth instead of through the nose, may modify the posture of the head, jaws and tongue. All this could in turn alter the balance of pressures acting on the jaws and teeth and influence the growth and position of both.”

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Dra. Martha Vargas

Con mas de 20 años de experiencia en el campo de la odontología, es una de las pioneras en la técnica de Implantología Estratégica de Carga Inmediata en Colombia. Manejo de tratamientos bajo sedación para pacientes nerviosos. Miembro de la Asociación Colombiana de Periodoncia, se caracteriza por el amor a su trabajo y la calidad humana con quienes le rodean.


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