Tongue Thrust Facts

Tongue thrust is defined as abnormal lingual pressure applied to the front teeth, often accompanied by lip closure of a sucking nature, which occurs during swallowing (considered a normal swallowing pattern in infancts). A tongue thrust is physically characterized by the front or sides of the tongue being in contact with more than half the surface area of either the upper or lower incisors, cuspids, or bicuspids or protruding between the teeth. Excessive tongue thrust may result in protrusion of the anterior teeth, with possible distortions of speech sounds. Tongue thrust classifications are based on the type of malocclusion resulting from the tongue thrust.


Myofunctional Therapy is the method of restoring to normal the action of the muscle groups related to tongue functioning and swallowing. Speech/Language pathologists provide this treatment. Positive prognosis for a corrected swallow is more likely when clients complete the prescribed oral motor activites between sessions. Success thorugh therapy is also related to the nature and severity of the tongue thrust.

Written by Sally Knight