Symptoms

Tongue Thrusts

Common questions...

What is a tongue thrust?

Tongue thrust is a forward position of the tongue during rest, and a thrust against or between the teeth during swallowing and speech. A tongue thrust condition is sometimes called an orofacial (mouth and face) myofunctional (muscle function) disorder (OMD).  The tongue may lie too far forward during rest or protrude between upper and lower teeth during speech, swallowing, and at rest.

It is estimated a person swallows a total of 1,200 to 2,000 times every 24 hours with about four pounds of pressure per swallow.

This constant pressure of the tongue will force the teeth and arches out of alignment. Aside from the pressure exerted while swallowing, nervous thrusting also pushes the tongue against the teeth while it is at rest. This is an involuntary, subconscious habit that is difficult to correct.

 


What are the signs and symptoms to look for in someone who tongue thrusts? 

  • Tongue protrusion between or against the teeth when forming /s, z, t, d, n, l, sh/

  • Frequent open mouth resting position with lips parted

  • Mouth breathing

  • Messy and/or loud eating

  • Tongue visually near front of mouth or between teeth while speaking and/or swallowing

  • Lips often cracked, chapped, and sore from frequent licking

  • TMD  (jaw or jaw joint) pain

  • Orthodontic relapse

  • Protruding teeth

  • Open bite

.

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

 


Can a tongue thrust be fixed? 

Nation wide, successful correction of tongue thrust appears in 75% of treated cases; 20% of patients are unsuccessful due to poor cooperation and lack of commitment by parents and clients; and the remaining 5% are unsuccessful due to other factors that make correction impossible, such as physical or mental development problems. 

Treatment may include the following: (a) education regarding the importance of proper tongue and lip postures when at rest and when swallowing, (b) awareness training to establish appropriate resting postures for the lips and tongue, and (c) exercises to develop an appropriate swallow movement.

 
Where can I learn more about tongue thrust?

Websites on tongue-thrust (myofunctional disorder):

 


Did you know?
Adult speech impediments can be corrected. Treatment varies and depends on the type of disorders. A proper evaluation completed by a trained provider will be able to give you an individualized treatment plan depending on the underlying cause of your speech impairment.

Next Steps?

For additional information click the link below or give us a call.  The speech-language pathologists and Certified Orofacial Myologists® who are housed at Floss are part of Link To Communication, LLC.  We are happy to answer questions.  



 

DID YOU KNOW?

Adult speech impediments can be fixed. Treatment varies and depends on the type of disorders. A proper evaluation completed by a trained provider will be able to give you an individualized treatment plan depending on the underlying cause of your speech impairment.

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