5 Signs Your Child is a Tongue Thruster

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5 Signs Your Child is a Tongue Thruster

6 April 2023
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

All babies push their tongues forward as they swallow, but this should stop happening as they grow older. Unfortunately, some children continue to push their tongues forwards, and this results in a condition known as tongue thrust or tongue thrusting. Put simply, it means the tongue is in the wrong position while swallowing, speaking or at rest. 

This is a serious issue since tongue thrusting places pressure on the teeth and can cause them to move out of alignment. As such, it can lead to anything from a misaligned bite to chronic jaw pain. Treatment is available, but it's best to seek it as soon as possible. With that in mind, here are just five common signs your child might be a tongue thruster.

1. Speech Impediment

One of the most common signs of tongue thrusting is also one of the easiest to identify. Since the condition means your child will be either pushing their tongue against their teeth or letting it protrude while they speak, you may notice they seem to be developing a speech impediment. A slight lisp on 'z' and 's' sounds is the most common issue.

2. Open Mouth

Tongue thrusting often leads children to keep their mouths open, even when they aren't speaking or eating. The mouth won't be totally open, but you may notice the lips are slightly parted. This will often cause the lips to become chapped or cracked.

3. Mouth Breathing

Since children who thrust their tongues often keep their mouths open instead of closed, you may also start to notice that they are breathing through the mouth instead of the nose. This can have further complications, such as the development of sleep apnoea. If your child breathes through their mouth even when not affected by allergies or congestion, tongue thrusting is a likely cause.

4. Protruding Tongue

As well as keeping their mouths open, children who thrust their tongues may leave their tongues slightly protruding. As such, you may notice the tip of your child's tongue between the upper and lower teeth.

5. Eating Issues 

When your child doesn't have their tongue in the right position, they are going to find it much harder to eat. While it's true that children don't often possess the most impeccable table manners, you may find that they are eating faster or slower than they should to compensate for this problem. In some cases, your child may also become a messy eater due to tongue thrusting. 

To find out more, contact a company like Geelong Dental Group