Face Fitness OMT

Tongue Thrust

What Is It?

Tongue thrust is when a person’s tongue pushes (thrusts) up against the teeth or between the front teeth while at rest, speaking, or while swallowing.

The constant pressure or thrust from the tongue forces the teeth and arch out of alignment and creates a gap, or open bite between top and bottom teeth.

Untreated tongue thrust can lead to long-term damage to speech, like a lisp over certain sounds.

Tongue Thrust

Can tongue thrust be corrected?

Yes! The most successful treatment for adults and children is myofunctional therapy. Myofunctional therapy helps with proper tongue and lip posture when at rest, and jaw stability which leads to correction of swallowing habits and open mouth posture. Tongue thrust has high success rate if treated.

What are the signs and symptoms of tongue thrusts?

  • Cracked, and chapped lips, and sore lips from frequent licking
  • Difficulty eating foods with different texture.
  • Difficulty swallowing pills
  • Frequent open mouth resting position with lips parted
  • Messy and/or loud eating
  • Mouth breathing
  • Open bite
  • Orthodontic relapse
  • Protruding teeth
  • TMD (jaw or jaw joint) pain
  • Tongue protrusion between or against the teeth when forming /s, z, t, d, n, l, sh/
  • Tongue visually near front of mouth or between teeth while speaking and/or swallowing

What are the causes of a tongue thrust?

  • High arches and/or narrow palate
  • Allergies or congestion
  • Enlarged tonsils
  • Tongue tie
  • Prolonged use of artificial nipples (bottles/ pacifiers)
  • Prolonged sippy cup usage 
  • Thumb sucking

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