Dental problems in the wind instrumentalist1

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A healthy mouth with intact functional oral tissue is essential to the wind instrumentalist. Since perioral pressures from playing wind instruments can cause tooth movement and increase muscle tone, orthodontic consultation should be considered when selecting instruments for young players. Maintaining the integrity of the dental arches through regular dental examination, preventative dental procedures, the use of lip shields, bonding materials, replacement prostheses, and splinting and supporting mobile teeth can circumvent loss of tooth structure, malpositioning of teeth, unnecessary tooth extraction, and loss of soft tissue. Complete dentures usually prevent playing; however, improved denture retention methods offer hope for continued playing. Xerostomia and oral cancer are potential problems that become more likely with age and are especially serious for the wind instrumentalist.



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