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3935 Tongue-thrusting

Tongue thrusting

Tongue thrusting

Tongue thrusting or oro-facial myofunctional disorder is a condition in which the tongue moves in an exaggerated way during speech and/or swallowing. The tongue may lie too far forward during rest or may protrude between the upper and lower teeth during speech, swallowing and at rest.

Causes of tongue thrusting:

• Allergies
• Enlarged tonsils
• Excessive thumb sucking, lip and fingernail biting, teeth clenching and grinding
• Heredity

Effects of tongue thrusting include:

• Affects speech
• Improper alignment of teeth

Treatment techniques used:

• Increasing awareness of mouth and facial muscles
• Improving swallowing patterns
• Improving awareness of mouth and tongue postures
• Improving muscle strength and co ordination
• Improving speech and sound production

Many children show signs of tongue thrusting. It is your responsibility to recognize it, address it and take care of the problem. This can go a long way in reducing the consequences of tongue thrusting.