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  • Writer's pictureShaina Rafkin

Here's what you need to know about "tongue thrust"

Here's what you need to know about "tongue thrust"⤵️

I often get referrals that sound something like this: please correct this patient's tongue thrust... or my doctor told me that I have tongue thrust... Or she has a lisp because she has tongue thrust...

So here's the deal: tongue thrust is a symptom, NOT a diagnosis and NOT the root cause of the problem!

Tongue thrust causes issues, but it's essentially a symptom of bigger picture indicating that there's something else going on here. Seeing dysfunction should leed us to ask WHY. If all we did was fix the tongue thrust we'd likely be missing a huge part of the issue.

So what is tongue thrust? It's when the tongue pushes against the teeth (on the side or in the front) when swallowing. The correct swallowing pattern is when the tongue tip elevates to the "spot"behind your top front teeth to initiate the swallow. When a tongue thrust is identified, it's an indication that the tongue is not where it needs to be and not functioning optimally... so we need to figure out why! Usually it's because the tongue is resting low in the mouth instead of up and back in the palate. This can be due to mouth breathing, large tonsils, tongue tie, habit, etc...

But here's the thing. Yes we swallow around 700 times a day and we don't want that tongue swallowing like that BUT the important thing is addressing correct oral posture and getting to the root cause of dysfunction.

👅Tongue up, 😃teeth apart,😊 lips closed,👃nasal breathe.

So if someone comes in telling me they have tongue thrust, I know I gotta figure out what else is going on and why!

Have you been told you or you child has a tongue thrust?

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