Your tongue should naturally rest in the top of your mouth, however, when your mouth is open it rests in the bottom. This leads to underdeveloped oral musculature, and can cause problems with speech, swallowing, breathing and chewing. When the tongue rests low in the mouth, it must push forward to swallow – this is called a tongue thrust.
Do I Have a Tongue Thrust?
Below are the most common signs to determine if you, or your child, have a tongue thrust:
- Mouth breathing is the most obvious sign – the mouth is open at rest, and the tongue is often forward or sticking out.
- Speech concerns, especially lisping, can be a sign, as are general problems with articulation, rate of speech, and vocal quality.
- Sucking habits, especially thumb sucking, can cause a tongue thrust to occur. When the thumb is constantly in the mouth, the swallowing pattern of the tongue develops incorrectly. It is important to realize that even when the sucking habit has stopped, the condition usually still remains.
What Can Be Done to Fix It?
The only way to learn new habits is to go through an exercise-based therapy program that retrains the muscles and the mind.
My myofunctional therapy treatment is individually created for each patient’s specific needs, so that any tongue related issues can be easy to eliminate for you or your child.
My son, Ryan, is a 16 year old who suffers from Autism as well as a syndrome that causes some dysmorphic facial features. Due to structural anomalies Ryan has a hard time closing his mouth, is a mouth breather, drools , has trouble forming certain sounds and his tongue pressing against his teeth is causing his teeth to push outward despite braces. Ann started doing myofacial therapy with Ryan and I cannot believe the change. It is so different from what his Speech therapist is doing. He is better able to control his mouth, his mouth is not hanging open as much and the drooling has decreased drastically. She is very patient with him because he has a hard time with body awareness, which causes us to have to do everything over and over, but I cannot believe the change in him. She is dedicated to helping in ways I didn’t even know possible. No one tells us these services are available. Now that I see what she is able to accomplish, all I can see is the amount of children that would benefit from her services. Not only is she a therapist, but a teacher as well. She patiently explains everything to me so that I can continue to work with Ryan at home. I am excited to see all the improvements that are yet to come.
I first started in orthodontic treatment at twelve years old, and now at twenty years old I have completed two full length rounds of standard braces, and one major double jaw surgery. All of these treatments have failed to one degree or another due to my persistent tongue thrust as soon as my treatment was complete. I then began a final course of Invisalign, and decided to give Myofunctional therapy a try in conjunction so that I had a chance at no relapsing after my correction. In less than three months I had a ninety percent fix of my tongue thrust, and my only regret is that I didn’t start when I was twelve. Ann worked with me on my schedule (extremely busy as an undergraduate student), and even over FaceTime to save me long trips to an office. With a little persistence and discipline in keeping up with exercises, I’ve been able to correct a problem that has cost thousands of dollars in orthodontia and years of my life in braces. I recommend myofunctional therapy to anyone who is experiencing problems with their corrective treatment. It was an absolute game changer for me, and I recommend jumping on with treatment as soon as possible!
Because of the exercises you nave shown me and because of your help. I am no longer choking on my tongue at night. My tongue stays at the top ot my mouth so that I am not mouth breathing, which means I am sleeping so much better.. You are so knowledgeable , and have been immensely helpful and I truly appreciate you! –
Doing Myofunctional Therapy has been a game changer, especially for someone who never realized a tongue thrust was a real thing I had to worry about. I have always questioned why my top front teeth were becoming buck and ended up going through 2 rounds of braces before we caught onto the real problem that I had a tongue thrust. Working with you was great! We took time to improve the problem doing various exercises and really dug deep into the situation. Exercises were effective and got the job done in a non-frustrating way. You were very flexible, especially for someone like myself who has a busy schedule. The platform we used to do sessions online was great, so you can do everything from the comfort of your home. Lots of times, people find it hard to drive to an appointment. I would give you a 10 out of 10 rating for these reasons. Thank you for all your help!
My experience with Myofunctional Therapy as amazing. Ann always went out of her way to make appointments work to fit my schedule. The results truly changed my smile with strengthening exercises and practice. My future and smile both seem brighter because of what Myofunctional Therapy has done to me.
Thanks a ton!
I feel like it really helped me. It really helped me remember to put my tongue to spot and I improved my /r/ sound.