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Are You Especially Irritable in the Morning?

Are You Especially Irritable in the Morning?

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Many people don’t realize their tongue plays a bigger role in our bodies than we think. Your tongue serves a variety of essential functions, even when it’s at rest. The relationship between the muscles in your face, mouth, and throat affects how you eat, speak, sleep, and even breathe.

For some individuals, these muscles may not always function well together as they’re supposed to. As a result, poor tongue posture can lead to a variety of health issues, including changes in the face, sleep apnea, teeth grinding, misaligned teeth, and much more.

You may be suffering from tongue thrust, which causes mouth breathing that can affect your sleep. Luckily, there are ways you can correct your tongue thrust! Just like exercise for your body, tongue posture is a good habit to maintain your sleeping posture and improve your breathing.


What Is Tongue Thrust, and How Is it Changed?

Tongue thrusting is the habit of pushing your tongue forward between the upper and lower teeth when you swallow. The constant pressure of the tongue will cause the teeth and arches to become misaligned. Aside from the pressure applied while swallowing, nervous thrusting also pushes the tongue against the teeth while it’s at rest. There are several suspected cases, including:

  • Thumb Sucking
  • Mouth Breathing
  • Difficulty Swallowing
  • An Exceptionally Large Tongue
  • The Angle of the Jaw Line or Other Hereditary Factors
  • Muscular, Neurological, or other Physiological Abnormalities

How Does Tongue Thrust Affect My Sleep?

One of the most common reasons why you are irritable in the morning is mouth breathing. Tongue thrust can impact your sleep cycle, even if you’re not aware of it or how much it can affect your health. Here are three examples of how tongue thrust and mouth breathing can impact your sleep schedule and daily life.

1. Causes Mouth Breathing That Can Lead to Health Issues

When you breathe through your mouth, your body inhales cold, dirty air rather than the warm, clean air produced by breathing through your nose. You will most likely wake up tired, irritable, and with a headache.

It's common to have difficulty concentrating as well as sleep-deprived symptoms. Furthermore, when you breathe through your mouth, you can inhale viruses, bacteria, and diseases that can lead to health issues.

2. Causes Snoring and Restless Nights

An obstructed nasal airway is the underlying cause of mouth breathing. If your nose is blocked, your body will automatically turn to the only other source of oxygen, your mouth.

Mouth breathing while sleeping can result in snoring, which can lead to sleep apnea. Snorers can make it difficult for themselves and their families to sleep. Unfortunately, tongue thrust, mouth breathing, and sleep apnea can all contribute to serious health issues associated with sleep deprivation.

3. Lead to Daytime Fatigue

Teeth grinding occurs when your teeth are misaligned. Of course, grinding your teeth is bad for them, but there are possible side effects, including jaw strain, neck pain, and upper back pain.

This condition can also interfere with your sleep patterns by delaying REM sleep or waking you up before your deep sleep cycle begins, which can lead to fatigue. Learning to maintain your tongue on the roof of your mouth can help realign your cranial bones, resulting in fewer teeth grinding and better sleep.

What Are the Symptoms of Mouth Breathing?

Many people don’t realize they are breathing through their mouth instead of their nose, especially if it happens when they are sleeping. However, some of the symptoms that relate to mouth breathing can include:

How Can Tongue Thrust Be Treated?

Fortunately, tongue thrust is a highly treatable condition. A full recovery can be made if you commit to attending the appropriate therapy sessions recommended. You may also need to address other underlying health conditions that contribute to your tongue thrustings.

If you or a family member suffers from tongue thrust, we can help. IJustWantTo® Correct My Tongue Thrust is a tongue muscle exercise program that has been shown to reduce tongue thrusting and snoring caused by mouth breathing and incorrect tongue position.

Our seven-week tongue exercise program corrects tongue thrusts without the use of medication, surgery, or other invasive procedures. If you want to learn more about our program, please contact us today.

Janet M. Bennett

Written by:

Janet Bennett, M.Ed., CCC-SLP, is a Speech Pathologist in private practice in Asheville, NC, since 1977. She specializes in treating tongue thrust, a swallowing disorder that can result in buckteeth, an open bite, a lisp, snoring, and other problems that have not yet been made known to most people.