How the Diet and Mouth Breathing can Effect Oral Cavity Development in Young Growing Children

Parents, Grandparents, Dentists, and Naturopaths need to understand how a child develops his teeth, oral cavity, and Nasal breathing. One of the great reasons was shown last week in the production of nitric oxide from nasal breathing. It is very important to be aware of children’s diets, development of their breathing, nasal airway, teeth cleanliness, and facial esthetic development.

Facial beauty, tooth eruption, and development, plus how a child develops their dentition are closely related to the dental bite. A poor diet, Candida Albicans fungus, gut inflammation, and leaky gut, colds, allergies, and breathing through the mouth can influence tooth development and even children’s health.

The oral cavity is formed by muscle forces and actions of the tongue and muscles around the mouth. These are all dependent on the diet, nasal or mouth breathing, nasal obstructions, cleanliness of the teeth, babies’ oral habits, mouth appliances, thumbs in the mouth, and other objects used to help them sleep.

From the ages of two to fourteen, muscle forces, tongue habits, breathing, and swallowing positions shape the formation of the dental bite, swallowing position, and sometimes the health of the child. Today the BULLETIN will discuss these different forces of the tongue, side facial muscles, anterior facial muscles, and their relationship with the teeth and oral cavity development. Because of the complexity and topic length of the child’s oral cavity development, I will discuss part of the development this week and finish it next week.

There are three developing positions that the tongue, side muscles, and front facial muscles assume in forming the bite in growing children. The swallowing forces and tongue positions while swallowing are also contributing factors. There are three-bite classification types. The position of the tongue relates to the classification and type of dental bite.

John Mew, born in England in 1928, was one of the earliest pioneers in discovering facial growth and finding appliances to improve facial esthetic development of the dentition, mouth, and face. His cognitive thinking allowed him to question the cause of tooth position and facial changes during development. Last week I mentioned Dr. Ignarro and his questioning of blood vessel expansion in his mind and finding nitric oxide. Scientists use these questions in their minds to find answers to some of the greatest discoveries of all time. Einstein was a great example. Dr. Mew used his mind questions and findings to correct the various misarranged bites in young children with developing malocclusions or bad bites.

I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in one of John Mew’s lecture meetings at the Sir Francis Hotel in Chicago many years ago. In my presentation, I showed how the muscle forces in the oral cavity (mouth) developed the dentition, and how the three classifications of dental bites (occlusions) were developed. I called my presentation “The functional muscle oral cavity, facial, and tooth development.”

For parents, grandparents, and naturopaths, there are three classes of dental bites. All have distinct resting tongue positions. Resting tongue position is when the tongue is lying dormant in the mouth when not chewing. These small resting tongue positions and small FORCES have a great influence on the direction of the developing tooth positions and facial growth in growing children.

I first became interested in dental bites when I saw scallops on the LATERAL sides of the tongue on a grown man. In my mind, I asked, What do the scallops represent? I then discovered that they were the impressions of the maxillary and mandibular teeth PLUS the resting tongue position of the man’s bite. What I saw was ONE millimeter. free resting tongue space, or resting tongue position. The man breathed through his nose. He had a bite called a CLASS I bite. What did that represent? After checking much more class I bites, I found that it represented almost all Class I bites. They had a one to two-millimeter space in tongue resting petition. This was huge because in Dental school we were taught that all people’s bite types had a three to four-millimeter resting tongue position. It showed that Class I patients had a bisecting 1-2 millimeter resting (OPEN) tongue position, which put growing tongue forces equal (BISECTING BOTH MAXILLARY AND MANDIBULAR TEETH) all around the mouth and was being balanced by the outside lateral and anterior muscle forces. That discovery led to me finding that Clas II patients had a three to six-millimeter freeway space in their resting tongue position, while class III patients had zero to two resting tongue positions. The tongue position depended on the resting tongue position in a person’s mouth. So the RESTING TONGUE POSITION, lateral tongue position over the teeth, and nasal/mouth breathing, and swallowing forces have a big influence on the forces that develop the width, length, height of the dental arches. Over 95 percent of DEVELOPING NASAL BREATHERS have a class I bite, while most mouth breathers have a class III bite. All three classes of dental bites have different tongue resting positions, which shapes and determines over 80 percent of the way the developing child’s facial form, tooth arch form, and tooth alignment occurs. The swallowing tongue pressure also has a big effect. I will explain further the dental bites today of Class I and Class III children. Next week I will describe the development of Class II dental bites.

The biggest factor in Class I (nice facial patterns) facial and tooth development is that 98 percent of class I bites breath through the nose. They usually have a good bioelectric diet, no allergies, no colds or flu, and are very healthy. The freeway (resting tongue) space is usually about 1-2 millimeters where the tongue bisects both the upper and lower teeth laterally both on the sides and forward. this inside force is balanced by the equal outside forces of the outer side and front facial muscles This is very important because the tongue and outside muscle forces create a great arch form, nice smile line, and ample space for the tongue. It also directs the growth in the growing child, usually creating a nice facial form. There is equal force pressure on the inside (tongue) and the outside, (buccinator and obicularis muscles), balancing the forces to create both upper and lower tooth symmetry, and usually a nice smile.

Class I bites have only one swallowing position. The tongue when swallowing is placed forward on the upper maxillary gingiva and the cingulum of the maxillary central and lateral teeth. The most important factor in these children is that they start breathing through the nose at a very young age. Their bioelectric diet and continued good health is a big factor.

Parents, Grandparents, Naturopaths, and Dentists all need to know how class III dental bites (occlusions) develop. The most important factor to watch in young children 3 to 14 is that they are breathing through the nose, not the mouth. Breathing through the mouth is due to many factors. The most important is the diet. If the child is eating a refined and processed diet, and not a bioelectric diet, they develop bad bacteria, Candida fungus, and other pathogens in the gut. Toxins and inflammation may cause a leaky gut. This creates a deteriorating situation where nasal obstructions, ALLERGIES, colds, polyps, swollen septums plus other infections cause nasal impediments that result in the child breathing through the mouth. Parents, dentists, and naturopaths need to keep a close watch on mouth-breathing children because they will continue mouth breathing until the diet and obstructions are corrected.

Mouth breathing changes the tongue position to a low tongue position in the mouth, usually between the lower teeth, with no muscle forces on the maxillary (upper) teeth, or on the outside of the lower (mandibular) teeth. In a growing developing child, mouth breathing is very detrimental to the growing jaws, shape, and formation of the child’s dentition and facial esthetics. These changing alignment problems during oral cavity and tooth development are HUGE. Much of the time, with class III dental bites and low tongue position inside the lower teeth, there are no inside muscle forces on the upper teeth and cranium. Therefore, maxillary (upper) tooth alignment development and anterior tooth placements are directed by cranial development. Many times the ANTERIOR MAXILLARY teeth are inside and behind the normal placement that they would have in class I bites. The MANDIBULAR muscle forces and placement of teeth are all directed by the low placement of the tongue and its shape and forces. The shape and alignment of the lower teeth depend on tongue size, shape, and forces in resting position. The direction of development can be downward or outward, or forward, depending on the direction of resting tongue forces. The chronic tongue forces can exert pressure until the child reaches 18 to 20 years old. This will result in a Class III bite, with usually a smaller maxillary arch and a larger mandibular arch. The mandibular arch developing resting tongue force usually widens, moves teeth forward, and/or sometimes moves the teeth and jaw down.

In most of the treatments, the maxillary arch will need to expand, the maxillary teeth moved forward, and any overclosure will need to be corrected. Sometimes, when the mandibular arch is too large, surgery is needed to bring the two arches into proper alignment.

There are three different types of swallowing with class III dental swallowing positions. Number one. The child has a normal class one swallow where their tongue is placed on the maxillary gingiva and cingulum of the maxillary anterior teeth. This is a good swallowing position. It is noted by there is usually a slight overlap of the maxillary central incisors. They cling to the anterior side of the lower anterior teeth. Number two. The child has a bilingual swallow where the swallowing tongue position is against both (arches of teeth) in the anterior. This can result in a flaring of the maxillary teeth or both the maxillary and mandibular teeth. Number three. The child has a low tongue position swallow. They only put forward swallowing pressure on the lower mandibular anterior teeth. This presents a problem. It can produce forces that create more side, forward, and downward mandibular growth, sometimes extending to 18 or 20 years old.

In Part 2, I will discuss the development of class II bites (occlusion), which can produce many medical problems, including overclosure (closed bites), temporal mandibular joint dysfunction, headaches, neck pain, forward head position, scoliosis of the upper back, vertebral cartilage degeneration, and much more.

September 18. 2021

Part II: Class II Dental Bite Development

Last week I discussed how the diet, Candida fungus, bad bacteria, toxins, and leaky gut can have a dramatic effect on the development of dental bites (occlusion) and the oral cavity. This is especially good information for young mothers, dentists, and naturopaths.

Oral cavity and dental bite development are influenced by oral habits, allergies, colds, flu, nasal congestion, polls, septums, and obstructions. These factors begin to have a development effect from ages two to fourteen. The development of class II bites is related to the RESTING POSITION OF THE TONGUE (50%), HABITS (30%), and SWALLOWING PRESSURE (20%). Early children’s habits have a large effect on class II dental bite and oral cavity development.

I did not mention that class I bites usually have a good temporal-mandibular (TMJ) position. They very seldom need TMJ dysfunction treatment. Class II over closed bites, in comparison, produces about 80 percent of TMD dysfunction treatment when children get older if the overclosure of the bite is not recognized and not corrected when they are developing their dental bite.

Today we will discuss the development of class II bites, plus how parents, dentists, and naturopaths can detect and observe when the child is developing a class II bite.

You may not be familiar with otitis media with effusion. This is a big problem in England and the Scandinavian countries where the humidity is quite high most of the time. It is an infection of the Eustachian tube where the child gets severe earaches. The pediatricians give the child antibiotics and places grommets in the eardrums (tympanic membrane) to relieve the pressure on these children. When grommets are placed, the child usually loses 3 to 5 percent of their hearing from the scar tissue that forms on the eardrum. A dentist can now find and treat otitis media without having the child lose any hearing. This stops the infection in 24 to 48 hours. Parents, naturopaths, and dentists need to be aware of this great discovery and procedure.

Parents, grandparents, naturopaths, and dentists all need to know how class II dental bites develop in young children. Parents of young children 2 to 14 years old, and dentists can be a great help in directing the development and growth of the dental bite and oral cavity.

A very big problem occurs when children use chronic pacifiers and/or thumb habits. When very young, chronic use of pacifiers, thumbs, and other objects in the mouth are detrimental to the development of the dental bite, especially when developing the resting (passive) class I position of the tongue The continued chronic use of pacifiers (especially the Nuk Sagar) and other objects hold the tongue back from the front of the mouth. The Nuk Sagar pacifier has a blunt tip. This keeps the tongue from reaching the front of the mouth to create forward growth and a great anterior alignment. Remember that I mentioned that in class I tongue forces the tongue reached all of the teeth, bisecting both upper and lower teeth, and also creating bilateral and anterior force to grow the anterior teeth and smile line. That does not happen when the tongue is held back with chronic wear of pacifiers and other objects. Now there is a big question. With chronic use of these objects, WHERE DOES THE TONGUE GO IN THE MOUTH? It spreads over the top of the lower primary molars and the mandibular 1st molar when it erupts. This is called a “lateral tongue splinting,” resting (passive) tongue position. The resting tongue is sitting on top of the lower primary molars, preventing them from fully erupting with the passive and swallowing force of the tongue. The tongue also does not reach the anterior of the mouth to help the mandible grow. This resting force depends on the downward vertical tongue pressure and can direct from 2 to 5 mm of downward vertical development. The posterior lateral tooth curve result is called the curve of spee.

The lateral tongue splinting prevents the primary first and second molars plus the permanent first molar from fully erupting. Second, it does not let the resting (passive) tongue position fully extend to the anterior teeth. Thirdly, it prevents the tongue from assuming a class I bisecting upper and lower lateral resting force that widens the mandible. Fourth, With no forward resting tongue pressure on the mandible, it retards the forward growth. The lack of mandibular growth also is affected by the inward pressure from the front (orbicular muscle). Fifth, the lateral tongue position produces two types of tongue swallowing positions. One is the class one swallowing pattern, with the tongue on the upper gingiva and cingulum of the upper anterior teeth. This results in a downward pressure thrust on the lower lateral teeth when swallowing resulting in a deep curve of spee, and overclosure. (class II Division II) swallow. The other swallow is a tongue thrust swallow involving the upper anterior teeth. This proclines the upper anterior teeth resulting in a space between the anterior maxillary and mandibular teeth (class II Division I) swallow.

A very big clue that the child is developing into a class II bite is to observe the overlap (overbite) of the maxillary anterior teeth. If you can see only one-half or less of the lower anterior central and lateral teeth, the child may be developing into a class II bite. Another clue is to look at the wear on the maxillary primary cuspids. If they are worn, it means that the child’s bite is not comfortable and they are looking for a comfortable resting position. This rarely occurs with class one bite growth. A third clue is to look at the front facial profile. If there is a crease under the lower lip, and the mandible looks small or retruded, there may be an overclosure of the bite. Fourth. The fourth way is to look at the lateral full-face view. If you can notice the crease under the lip, and the lip symmetry is disrupted, or the mandible looks retarded, it may be another sign.

What can be done to help correct overclosure in class II bites, and create a better resting tongue placement and class I bite growth? In 1985, I discovered a way to raise a closed class II bite on over closed children, plus treat otitis media. I have lectured in many countries about how to observe class II bites, how to correct them, and how to correct otitis media with effusion. In 2017 I gave a one-day lecture to the American Academy of Gnathologic Orthopedics about facial and tooth development, how diets affect oral cavity growth, mouth breathing, tooth development in growing young children, plus ways to correct class II overclosure and otitis media.

In many foreign countries, dentists are doing more preventive tooth development guidance than in the United States. Our dental Universities teach little or no tooth and oral cavity growth guidance and development. I found that small composite caps on the first and second primary molars will raise the bite on class II over closed developing bites, from three to 12-year-old children. This raises the bite table. I use the factors that I mentioned before to see if a child is developing into a class II bite. The deficiency usually amounts to 2 to 4 millimeters in height. This allows the lower 1st permanent molar to erupt to the height of the composite buildups, or 2 to 4 millimeters. The lower 6-year molars will erupt on their own about 80 percent of the time. If you see they are not erupting after 2 or 3 months, orthodontic BUTTONS and TRIANGULAR ELASTICS on the maxillary 1st permanent molar and primary 2nd molar down to the lower first permanent molar will bring the molar up to the proper vertical height. This allows the tongue to assume a class I lateral bisecting tongue position putting lateral resting pressure on both the upper and lower teeth, plus the tongue extends to the anterior and helps develop the anterior teeth. Any devious swallow position usually also disappears.

Shortly after I discovered vertical dimension-primary molar buildups, a dentist called me and said that by raising the primary molars with composite, he was able to cure otitis media with effusion in a young boy. We then started using the composite build-ups for curing otitis media in 24 to 48 hours. This not only gets rid of the otitis media but keeps the pediatrician from putting grommets in the children’s eardrums and the child’s loss of hearing from the scar tissue. It also raises the bite table to gain more tongue room. Since that time, I have put in dozens of composite buildups to cure otitis media, while raising the bite. The reason that primary molar buildups work well is because that when a child is over closed, THE CLOSED POSITION moves the mandibular condyle back putting distal pressure on the non-calcified distal of the mandibular fossa. This puts pressure on the eustachian tube and closes it off, starting an infection of the eustachian tube. When the buildups are placed, IT OPENS THE BITE, relieves the pressure, lets the condyle move forward, and lets the eustachian tube drain. Please remember that diets can be a factor in many infections.

What I have described here is the development of children’s bites in a perfect world. In reality, there are slight variations and /or combinations of these bites due to different tongue muscle pressures and swallowing positions. An example of that is in young children where a child will have a class I resting tongue position on one side and a class II tongue splinting resting tongue position on the other side. It is called a class IV bite. A class IV bite will cause a slanting bite with a flatter curve of spee on one side than the other. It also will lower the bite on one side which not only will slant the occlusion but can cause scoliosis of the vertebral and lower back vertebrae. Many times it will result in a TMD dysfunction that needs treating. Also on class II bite development, the maxillary anterior teeth will grow with the cranium, and produce about an 90 to 95 percent normal anterior position. The mandibular jaw, on the other hand, will have no anterior resting tongue pressure, no inside lateral or forward resting tongue pressure, and the outside front obicularis muscle pressure will many times determine how much retrusion that results in the lower jaw. Class II bites can many times be corrected when these children are three to four years old. Recognizing these damaging growth developments and using these corrections usually changes the development of Class II bites into class I bites. This may prevent temperal mandibular joint dysfunction and other bite problems later in life.

September 25, 2021

~ the Author ~
Merle E. Loudon, B.S., D.D.S. graduated from the University Of Washington School Of Dentistry in 1957. After two years of service in the Air Force, he started a private practice in East Wenatchee, Washington. For the past 45 years his practice has included Orthodontics and TM Dysfunction treatment specializing in temporomandibular pain treatment, headache, head and neck pain control, functional jaw orthopedics, and straight wire orthodontics. Associated with mercury elimination, oral surgery, crowns and bridges is TMJ treatment, diet control, parasite elimination, intestinal cleansing and healing (wellness).

Merle E. Loudon, B.S., D.D.S. has taught advanced courses for dentists on TM Dysfunction treatment, orthodontics and related pain control for more than 30 years. In 1972 he was the first dentist in Washington to use straight wire orthodontics and the first dentist to correct vertical deficiencies in children by placing vertical dimension-primary molar buildups and/or vertical (erupting) appliances. Merle E. Loudon, B.S., D.D.S. was involved with the first group of dentists to recognize lateral tongue splinting in young infants and integrate functional and fixed techniques to correct vertical dimension deficiencies and condylar placement. He is the originator of vertical dimension-primary molar build ups, which help to correct deep bites and Otitus media in children. He invented the Loudon-Chateau Anterior Repositioning Appliance, the functional muscle malocclusion concept, the twelve commandments of occlusion and the vertical overbite domino rule. Merle E. Loudon, B.S., D.D.S. has written numerous articles in several American and foreign dental journals and has lectured in over 50 cities and 7 foreign countries on functional jaw orthopedics, fixed wire orthodontics, Otitus media treatment and TM Dysfunction treatment. He has been instrumental in setting up criteria for teaching in the International Association For Orthodontics, including the certified instructor program.

Dr. Loudon is a member of The American Dental Association, Diplomat and Senior Instructor in the International Association for Orthodontics, and is a Diplomat of the American Academy of Pain Management. He also is a member of the American Orthodontic Society.