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Six Signs of Tongue Thrust and How to Correct It

Six Signs of Tongue Thrust and How to Correct It

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

With the new year in full swing, people are trying their best to keep up with their resolutions and health and wellness goals. You may have resolved to eat healthier food, exercise more often, lose weight, gain muscle, and pay more attention to your doctor’s instructions.

One minor issue can lead to a domino of negative effects on your overall health and wellness. If you have tongue thrust, for example, it could lead to fatigue, dental problems, and speech issues.

Identifying tongue thrust is the first step in correcting it. However, you may not even realize you or your child is experiencing it.

In this article, we want to help you recognize the signs of tongue thrust so that you can fix it. Correcting tongue thrust might just help you achieve some of your other health and wellness goals.

Six Signs of Tongue Thrust

Here are six signs that will help you identify whether you or someone you love has tongue thrust:

1) Dental Issues

When swallowing, the tongue can put pressure on the front teeth, pushing them out and generating an anterior overbite. The tongue is one of the strongest muscles in the body, which explains why teeth can continue to protrude even when braces are worn.

In the future, this could lead to costly dental procedures and adjustments, especially for children. If tongue thrust is the cause of dental issues, you might find that the need for braces returns again.

2) Speech Problems

When your tongue is too far forward, it gets "in the way" while you're talking, resulting in a lisp.

“A person with a tongue thrust may mispronounce the  “s” and “z” sounds because their tongue is used to being near the front of their mouth, and when they produce it, it sounds like a “th” so “sun” sounds like “thun.” - Tongue Thrust in Children.

3) Snoring

You might just assume snoring is something you will do for the rest of your life. However, it can actually be caused by tongue thrust. When your tongue rests improperly in your mouth, it can make it difficult to breathe at night, leading to snoring.

If you snore at night, it can keep you and your family awake, leading to fatigue during the day.

4) Sleep Apnea

“Sleep apnea is a condition characterized by pauses in breathing while sleeping. When people with sleep apnea sleep, they have many lengthy breath pauses.” - What Is Sleep Apnea?

Ten percent of all Americans suffer from sleep apnea. While there are many causes of sleep apnea, tongue thrust can lead to mouth breathing, which can, in turn, lead to sleep apnea.

5) Mouth Breathing

When your tongue rests improperly in your mouth, it can lead to mouth breathing. If you or a loved one breathes primarily through their mouth, it can lead to a domino-effect of other issues, including:

  • Snoring and sleep apnea
  • Fatigue due to sleeping improperly
  • Lack of focus and irritability
  • Difficulty performing daily tasks
  • Other issues

6) Grinding Teeth

Teeth grinding happens when your teeth are not correctly aligned. If you grind your teeth, it can lead to jaw discomfort, headaches, and dental problems.

If you or a loved one is exhibiting signs of tongue thrust, there is something you can do about it.

What Can You Do About Tongue Thrust?

Some of the causes of a tongue thrust include:

  • Thumb-sucking and/or nail-biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Premature loss of "baby" teeth
  • Lack of muscle coordination
  • Hereditary factors
  • Enlarged tonsils & adenoids

We've created a program that can assist in correct tongue thrust by retraining the tongue to rest appropriately in the mouth through exercises. IJustWantTo® Correct My Tongue Thrust is a seven-week program that walks you through tongue exercises that are explained in both textual and video form.

What’s Included in The Tongue Thrust Correction Program:

  1. You'll get seven weekly sessions with three to five different tongue exercises to help you learn to swallow in a new way. This NEW swallowing technique will become a new habit.
  2. Online tutorial videos that demonstrate how to complete the exercises. The simple workouts are well-explained and do not cause any discomfort. Each week contains two videos: instructions and a "perform it with the therapist" version.
  3. You will receive one Patented Tongue StickTM and a "Reminder" wristband to assist you in practicing the exercises.
  4. The author's personal e-mail and chat access.

If you are ready to correct tongue thrust, start our program 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.