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Angle Orthod. 2001 Jun;71(3):228-36.

Severe dental open bite malocclusion with tongue reduction after orthodontic treatment.

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Department of Orthodontics, Nagasaki University School of Dentistry, Japan.


We treated a 21-year-old woman with a severe open bite and macroglossia with a standard edgewise appliance and without partial glossectomy. This was followed by retention using a Begg-type plate retainer for the upper dental arch and a fixed canine-to-canine for the lower arch. A crib was added to the upper plate retainer for suppression of a tongue thrust. The lower arch relapsed during the retention period, with a widening of the intermolar distance, flaring of the anterior teeth, and increased mobility of the teeth. We chose tongue reduction to resolve these problems and one-third of the middle dorsal part of the tongue was excised. After the tongue reduction, the patient experienced no functional problem in mastication, swallowing, and gustation, but she complained of mild speech difficulty and slight pain on the dorsal portion of her tongue. These symptoms disappeared 6 months after surgery. At this time, the mandibular dental arch was markedly improved. The flared lower dental arch had returned to an upright position and the tooth mobility reduced to normal. No appliance was used after surgery. Most of the recovery changes occurred within 4 months. This case highlights the importance of the teeth tending to move toward a balance between the tongue pressure from the inside and labio-buccal pressure from the outside.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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