Innovative Myofunctional Therapy
                          of Maryland

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Tongue Thrust

A tongue-thrust is the most common Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder (OMD). This is when the tongue thrusts forward during swallowing. In the past, it was commonly thought that just the pressure of the tongue thrusting forward during swallowing was the cause of this myofunctional disorder. The latest studies now show that it is not in fact the pressure from swallowing that disrupts the natural eruption pattern of the teeth, jaws and lips, but rather the consistent pressure from the tongue resting against the teeth rather than on the "spot", or incisive papilla. Our main goal in Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy is to ultimately habituate a new, CORRECT rest posture of the tongue.

A normal resting posture is a 'lips together, teeth apart' posture. An incorrect resting posture may appear differently for each individual patient.  Many incorrect resting postures are interrelated, so it is common to find that one patient may have many factors contributing to their OMD.

Tongue-thrusting is a normal pattern for all infants. There are, however, a variety of reasons why an infant may not outgrow this behavior that is considered normal during the first year of life. Here are a few examples of factors influencing prolonged tongue-thrusting: 
Bottle Feeding Genetic Factors Digit-Sucking/Pacifier Sucking
  • Sippy-Cup Use
  • Enlarged Tonsils and/or
  • Adenoids
  • Allergies
  • Mouth Breathing
  • Tongue Size (Microglossia or
  • Macroglossia)
  • Tongue-Tie (Ankyloglossia)