What Is Tongue Thrusting

Posted on 2/6/2023 by New York Oral, Maxillofacial, and Implant Surgery
Tongue thrusting refers to the act of pushing your tongue forward, against the back of your teeth and bottom teeth, while gulping, talking, or unwinding.

It's normally common in children around the age of 7. Tongue thrusting is a subconscious habit in children whereby they may not realize they are pushing their tongues against their teeth.

Causes of tongue thrusting

It has numerous causes, such as taste sensitivity on the upper jaw bone, tonsils enlargement, silence, use of pacifiers after the age of 4 to 5 years, and sucking one's thumb.

In adults tongue thrusting may result from chronic allergies, stress, and tonsils enlargement. Additionally, adults with tongue thrust conditions may develop an elongated facial expression due to the inability to close their mouths and swallow normally.

How is tongue thrust diagnosed

Tongue thrust can be diagnosed by a professional orthodontist, speech-language specialists, and pedestrians by observing how your child speaks or swallow. While diagnosing your child the doctor will observe his or her swallowing patterns.

Tongue thrust treatment

The tongue thrust treatment process is similar in adults and babies. An orthodontist may suggest a tongue habit appliance that holds the tongue in the proper position preventing it from moving forward when swallowing.

The appliance can also help with tongue muscle restraining and advancing sound tongue position while talking, gulping, and resting.

Dr. Horowitz and Dr. Orentlicher can recommend a speech therapist to correct any embedded developments resulting from tongue thrusting.

In some cases, an orofacial myology treatment can be recommended. This therapy involves the correction of lips, jaw, and tongue placement.

See a therapist

If you develop tongue thrust or observe it in your children, you can always book therapy sessions with a well-experienced orthodontist or speech specialist to correct tongue thrust conditions.

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