Date of Award

Spring 2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Bosio, Jose

Second Advisor

Bradley, Thomas G.

Third Advisor

Liu, Dawei


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of bondable lingual tongue spurs (BLTS; Tongue Tamers®, Ortho Technology, Tampa, FL) on measures of overbite and incisor position in a sample of anterior open bite subjects who had either a digit-sucking habit or an anterior tongue posture problem. Patient acceptance of the spurs was also evaluated. BLTS were placed on all maxillary and mandibular incisors of 12 subjects (mean age 13.9 years) with anterior open bite. Dental casts and lateral cephalometric radiographs were taken pre-treatment (T1) and after 6 months of lingual spur treatment alone (T2). Overbite and overjet of the anterior teeth were measured and compared on pre- and post-treatment study models. Differences in the cephalometric analyses between T1 and T2 were also assessed. Questionnaires were completed to evaluate the subjects' acceptance of the spurs. A statistically significant increase in overbite was found on all 6 anterior teeth measured on the study models. This observation was corroborated by the statistically significant increase in anterior overbite (1.38 ± 0.89mm; P<0.001) and uprighting of the upper and lower incisors observed on cephalometric radiographs. Overjet was not affected by the treatment. BLTS were well tolerated by the subjects. Eleven of 12 subjects adjusted to the spurs in 2 weeks or less. Bondable lingual tongue spur treatment, in subjects with either digit-sucking habits or tongue posture problems, resulted in a significant reduction of anterior open bite and incisor proclination by successfully keeping pressure away from the anterior teeth. The spurs were placed in one appointment were well tolerated by patients.

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