How To Stop Tongue Thrusting

May 11, 2023

Tongue thrust happens when your tongue moves exaggeratedly during speech, swallowing or at rest. It can lead to:

  • Breathing and speech difficulties
  • Open bite
  • Protruded teeth

Baby Tongue Thrust

Tongue thrusting, the motion of pushing the tongue forward against the back of the gums or teeth, helps infants with breast and bottle feeding to protect the baby from choking. It lasts for about five to six months, and their swallowing and speaking patterns typically evolve as the child grows. However, if it continues to persist past the infant stage and into early childhood, it can cause a myriad of dental problems including the teeth growing in at an outward angle instead of up and down. 

If your older child shows signs of tongue thrust, take them to see a dental professional or pediatrician. They’ll likely recommend an orthodontist and speech pathologist to make sure your child’s speech and teeth develop properly.

Tongue Thrust In Adults

Adults can develop tongue thrust from chronic allergies or swelling of the adenoids and tonsils, as well as stress. You can also carry tongue thrust forward to adulthood when you don’t get it treated while young. 

Oral myology or tongue thrust therapy by a competent speech pathologist can help adults so they no longer have to be annoyed with shifting teeth, pain, gingival recession, bone destruction and inability to wear dentures. 

Tongue thrust is treatable. Treatment may start by addressing the underlying conditions that contribute to tongue thrust. It’s best to talk to a specialist so a treatment plan that works for you or your loved one is created. By sticking to the treatment plan, tongue thrust issues should be resolvable in no time!

If you think you or your child suffers from tongue thrust, or have questions about this oral issue, feel free to visit us in Transcona, at the corner of Lagimodiere Boulevard and Regent Avenue. Here at Kildonan Crossing Dental Centre, we proudly provide patients with any information and services they need to maintain optimal oral health.