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VOLUME 14 , ISSUE S2 ( Special Issue (Behaviour Management), 2021 ) > List of Articles


Separation Anxiety—An Unseen Cause for Development of Abnormal Oral and Paraoral Habits and Malocclusion: A Review of Literature and Report of Two Cases

Vijaya S Dhote, Priyanti M Dharmadhikari, Rakesh N Bahadure, Nilima R Thosar, Aniket V Dhote

Keywords : Habits, Malocclusion, Separation anxiety

Citation Information :

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10005-2091

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 01-02-2022

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2021; The Author(s).


A child's overall well-being depends on its mutual relationship with the caregiver and social environment. Its attachment with the caregiver forms an emotional bond at six months to two years of age. Separation anxiety refers to fear of separation from the attachment figure. In some neglected children in early age of attachment formation, symptoms of separation anxiety persist and they may show debilitating nervous behaviors during growth. It thus becomes an unseen cause of psychological problem and development of abnormal oral habits occlusal dysfunctions and further psychological problems. Oral habits being learnt patterns of muscle contraction are displayed for release of mental tension due to fear and anxiety often associated with anger, hunger, sleep, tooth eruption and fear. Pediatric dentist plays an important role in patient education through anticipatory guidance. Proper diagnosis and early interception of oral habits as a result of separation anxiety disorder can prevent occlusal disturbances in children. The present paper includes review of literature along with the management of two cases of separation anxiety as an unseen cause of development of unique socially unacceptable abnormal oral and paraoral habits and resultant malocclusion.

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