Tongue Thrust

Alicia had expensive orthodontia, but her top and bottom teeth don’t meet and there’s a gap in her smile.  The orthodontist says she has a tongue thrust that orthodontia can’t fix. He recommended that you can correct her tongue thrust.  What can you do?

A tongue thrust occurs when the tongue protrudes through the teeth when speaking and/or swallowing. The tongue usually protrudes through the front teeth, but can also protrude through the side teeth. 

A person who has a tongue thrust often:

  • Does not swallow correctly

  • Pushes the tongue forward when speaking, creating articulation problems

  • Has dental problems, such as an “open bite” created by the tongue taking up space between the teeth.  The upper and lower teeth do not meet.

  • Can develop cranio-facial problems. The tongue should be resting on the hard palate, because this tongue posture helps develop the palate correctly. Without the tongue on the hard palate, the palate bone can grow vertically into the sinus cavity, creating many different issues.

  • Needs the tongue thrust corrected so that orthodontia will work

If you or your dentist notice a tongue thrust, it should be corrected. Fortunately, correction is usually quite effective and is often covered by insurance.  At Cornerstone Speech, we offer expert speech pathologists specially trained in orofacial myology, which deals with muscle postures of the mouth.  

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