Tongue Thrust Correction


Tongue Thrust CorrectionWhat is a tongue thrust?

Tongue thrusting is incorrect tongue positioning at rest and during swallowing. When these individuals swallow, they push their tongues against or between their teeth rather than pushing upward against the palate to complete a normal swallow. More importantly, they are usually resting their tongues against or between their teeth, which often interferes with jaw/teeth alignment and a healthy airway for normal respiration at rest, during exercise and throughout sleep.

What damage is caused by incorrect tongue patterns?

People swallow up to 1,000 times a day. Atypical swallows and incorrect rest postures can prevent teeth from erupting and also contribute to misalignment of the teeth and jaw. These unhealthy habits can also contribute to the pain associated with jaw joint (TMJ) problems as well as clenching and grinding habits. Improper tongue resting postures are also frequently associated with painful and/or life-threatening conditions such as migraines and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

How to identify incorrect tongue patterns

Check for one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Open-mouth breathing
  • Forward tongue movements during chewing and swallowing
  • Misaligned teeth such as overjets, open bites and crossbites
  • Noisy chewing and messy eating
  • Persistent sucking habits, most frequently sucking the thumb
  • Pain related to jaw joint (TMJ) problems and clenching/grinding
  • Chewing with an open mouth
  • Forward tongue positioning at rest
  • Persistent speech problems which do not improve with age or with speech therapy

How Can We Help?

The specialists at Jodie K. Schuller & Associates are professional speech and language therapists, many with over 25 years of experience in communicative disorders. Licensed by the state of California as speech-language pathologists, our therapists have completed advanced training in oral-motor development taught by leading experts in the field such as Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson, MS, CCC-SLP, and Char Boshart, M.A., CCC-SLP.  This training has prepared our therapists to diagnose and treat oral-motor disorders involving drooling, chewing, swallowing and open-mouth breathing as well as speech production disorders.  Therapists have also been trained through the International Association of Orofacial Mylogy (IAOM) to identify and treat unhealthy tongue thrusts and improper tongue resting postures.  With this advanced training, therapists are prepared to eliminate thumb sucking and to treat individuals who suffer from serious related issues such as Temporomandibular Joint Pain (TMJ), chronic headaches and sleep apnea.

“I feel it is impossible to do great orthodontics without having natural and proper muscle coordination.Jodie K. Schuller and Associates have been essential in helping our patients attain correct breathing and swallowing habits, thereby allowing them to get excellent orthodontic results.”

Gary Hirsh, D.D.S.

“For many of my patients, myofunctional therapy has been the key to the success and stability of their orthodontic treatment.”

Melanie Parker, D.D.S.

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