Tongue-Thrust

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Tongue-Thrust

A tongue thrust also be called reverse swallow. It has a few different causes.  One is to effectively move the tongue forward, out of the airway so a person can breathe if they have enlarged tonsils.  Another cause is due to oral habits that train the tongue to rest low and forward in the mouth.  The third cause is due to tethered oral tissue such as a tongue tie, or ankyloglossia, which keeps the tongue low and forward in the mouth.  People who have a tongue thrust may push the tongue against the front teeth, may push the tongue between the upper and lower front teeth, creating an open anterior bite, or may thrust bilaterally, causing the open bite to be more on the lateral teeth.  It may even be only on one side of the mouth, depending on the individual’s habitual resting pattern.  A tongue thrust is happening at rest, during swallowing and may also happen during speech.  When it happens during speech, it causes a lisp.

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders

Tongue thrusts, tongue ties, open mouth breathing due to enlarged tonsils and adenoids and sucking habits such as thumb sucking and pacifier sucking can all lead to problems with speech production and swallowing. New tongue and bone growth patterns may develop and result in open bites, lisps and oral feeding problems. Speech pathologists trained in Orofacial Myology are able to properly diagnose and treat you or your child for these problems. By addressing the muscle patterns, the speech issues often don’t take long to improve. We work closely with orthodontists, allergists, ENT’s and oral surgeons to help you or your child achieve the goals for optimal results.  Click here for more information.