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Tongue Thrust

What is a tongue thrust?

It is a habit of resting or thrusting the tongue forward/sideways against or between the teeth while swallowing, chewing, resting, or speaking

A tongue thrust is a symptom and means that there is a bigger issue at play



Improper oral rest posture

Proper oral rest posture:

  • Mouth is closed with teeth slightly apart

  • Tongue is lightly suctioned to the roof of the mouth; front middle and back

  • Lips closed

  • Nasal breathing

Improper oral rest posture affects




Proper development of craniofacial structures and airways

What causes improper oral rest posture?

  • Thumb/finger sucking

  • Tongue tie

  • Prolonged pacifier use

  • Prolonged bottle use

  • Use of sippy cups

  • Enlarged tonsils and or adenoids and more

Health issues linked to improper

oral rest posture

Anterior open bite



Low muscle tone of cheeks, jaw, lips, and tongue

High narrow palate


Speech issues

Improper swallow pattern

Underdeveloped jaws and airways

Delayed tooth eruption

Orthodontic relapse

Difficulty chewing and speaking

Nasal allergies

Digestive isssues



Bed wetting

Sleep apnea

***Disordered breathing

Mouth breathing

Oxygen deprivation

TMJ issues and dysfunction-chronic jaw or neck pain, headaches

**Disordered breathing and mouth breathing presents its own set of health issues

Myofunctional Therapy is needed to fix dysfunction of the tongue to maintain proper oral resting posture and correct the tongue thrust

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Sleep Disordered Breathing

Facts about sleep

  • Sleep disordered breathing can happen at any age, any time

  • A negative sleep study result does not mean normal breathing

  • Snoring is common but never normal

  • Open mouth is never normal

  • Disordered breathing sends the body into constant fight or flight=stress

  • If you are not breathing correctly at night, you are not breathing correctly during the day

Root Cause of Sleep Disordered Breathing

Undeveloped jaws, airway, and improper oral rest posture (lips sealed, tongue to the roof of the mouth; front middle, back, teeth slightly apart).

Signs and Symptoms of Disordered Breathing

Dark circles under eyes

No spacing in between baby teeth

Crooked, misaligned teeth


Gummy smile

High narrow palate





Enlarged tonsils/adenoids or removal

Frequent upper respiratory infections



Night terrors/nightmares

Mouth breathing day or night

Breathing is audible

Restless-tossing and turning

Bed wetting

Teeth grinding/clenching

Tired when waking up


Difficulty in school

Scientific Evidence and Sleep Disordered Breathing Health Affects





High blood pressure


Heart failure

Heart disease



Abnormal heartbeats



Immune compromised


Liver disease



Gestational hypertension

Gestational diabetes

Gut issues

and more

Studies show myofunctional therapy alone can significantly reduce disordered breathing. With an integrative approach, it can be reduced even more or possibly eliminated

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Tongue Ties

A tongue tie is when the band of tissue underneath the tongue is too short or tight, causing a limited range of motion and compensations. It leads to a cascade of health issues

"To be "mildly" tongue tied is like being "mildly" pregnant. You either are or you are not. No matter how mild, can end up being problematic"

- Dr. Bobby Ghaheri

You do not outgrow, or stretch a tongue tie. It is often misdiagnosed or missed.



Tongue tie releases can have a huge impact on health and wellness.


When the tongue's range of motion is restricted, surrounding muscles will find a new and improper way way to get the job done, causing a cascade of compensations throughout the body


The tongue is connected to every muscle, bone, artery, organ, and nerve through that fascia (A thin casing of connective tissue) Restriction in one place will cause restriction in other places as well as compensations

fascia, togue ties from head to toe

This can impact




Proper craniofacial development and airways

When muscles compensate or are restricted (tongue tie or lip tie), orofacial muscle tone can be weak or overused, causing an imbalance throughout the body and dysfunction. Muscles become dysfunctional and can cause improper chewing, swallowing, breathing, and proper oral rest posture

Myofunctional disorders are improper orofacial muscle(muscles of the head and neck) function and weak ,overused, or improperly used, muscles that interfere with proper breathing, chewing, swallowing, and growth and development of skeletal airways and jaws

Orofacial dysfunction needs to be addressed with a myofunctional therapy program (integrative) to fix orofacial dysfunction and a release provider may be recommended to release the tie. If a release is recommended, myofunctional therapy is needed before and after procedure for proper healing of the wound and muscle rehabilitation

Untreated tongue ties can lead to


Mouth breathing


Gassy, colic, fussy

Latch issues

Picky or messy eating

Issues with textures


Ear infections

Digestive issues

Sinus issues

Headaches and migraines



Teeth grinding

TMJ issues/disorders


Sleep disorders/disordered breathing



Poor posture

Improper development of the jaws and airways

Speech issues

Neck and back pain

Improper swallowing

Mouth Breathing/Snoring

Mouth Breathing/Snoring


Does not create nitric oxide Activates sympathetic nervous system=fight or flight=stresses the body Constricts veins and arteries=oxygen and nutrient deprivation to body/organs including the brain General inflammation of the body Increased allergies, asthma and risk of sleep apnea Bad breath and increased risk of tooth decay and periodontal disease Worse sleep Negative impact on craniofacial growth and development Low tongue posture=NO vagus nerve activation

Nasal Breathing

Creates nitric oxide(vasodilator, antiviral, antibacterial, bronchodilator) Activates parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest)=calms the body Filters out dust and allergens Better sleep Vagus nerve activation

Vagus Nerve

Primary sympathetic nervous system=rest and digest Plays a big role in nervous system, endocrine system, and immune system Plays a big role in metabolism, heat rate, blood pressure, decreasing inflammation, digestion and gut heath

Mouth breathing can change the way you look

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