What is a Tongue Thrust? What causes it?
Tongue thrust, is the process of thrusting the tongue forward and/or sideways against the teeth or in between the teeth while swallowing. A tongue thrust can create lots of orthodontic problems, as well as speech and swallowing difficulties. Nobody is certain what causes a tongue thrust, but here is a list of some possible causes:
- Allergies, nasal congestion, nasal obstructions or enlarged adenoids which may contribute to mouth breathing
- Large tonsils or frequent throat infections which cause abnormal >swallowing and tongue /lip posturing
- Abnormally large tongue
- Short lingual frenum
- Thumb sucking or tongue sucking
- Steep mandibular plane (angle of The lower jaw)
- Neurological, muscular, or other physiological abnormalities
- Hereditary factors and growth pattern of the face
Most of the common speech characteristics that will be distorted with a tongue thrust are : s/z, sh, ch, and r. It is also possible that you will observe a lisp in the child/adults speech. It should be noted that if there is a strong tongue thrust in addition to the speech difficulty, the speech problems will not dissipate without the correction of the tongue thrust.
If you think your child has a tongue thrust don’t worry! At the Long Island Speech Centers we evaluate and treat lots of the symptoms associated with a tongue thrust!