When you bite together, all of your teeth should meet evenly. If they don’t, you are likely to develop sore teeth at intervals. This can encourage people to grind their teeth (Bruxism). Many people develop severe jaw pains as a result of this as the jaw muscles go into spasm. It can also precipitate jaw joint problems. The teeth have a natural balancing mechanism which encourages those “out of contact” to erupt and those “in contact” to intrude, so that ultimately they all meet evenly. However if you suck your thumb or a pencil frequently, those teeth will tend to intrude, leaving a space. The tongue is frequently a “guilty party” to this as many people keep their tongue completely or partly between their teeth, especially when swallowing.
One of the principle objectives of Orthotropics is to encourage both children and adults to keep their teeth in gentle contact and their tongue on their palate which should avoid all of these problems.