Learn how to Stop your Child’s Tongue Thrust

stop tongue thrustSanta Cruz, Scotts Valley CA

Do you know what tongue thrust is? Tongue thrust occurs when the tongue presses too far forward in the mouth. Living with tongue thrust can cause problems with the alignment of your child’s teeth that require orthodontic treatment in Scotts Valley to resolve. Read on to learn more about tongue thrust, its causes, and how Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry can help your child correct this behavior.

Tongue thrust can be a warning sign of an orofacial myofunctional disorder

Also known as an OMD, this type of disorder refers to some sort of dysfunction in the musculature or movement of the face, mouth, or tongue. Tongue thrust is considered a rather common symptom of an OMD. Tongue thrust also might manifest as a consequence of living with a tongue-tie, problems swallowing, or even having abnormally large tonsils or tonsils that are swollen due to allergies.

Learn the symptoms of tongue thrust

When your child closes their mouth, do the front teeth touch? If not, this is what is known as an open bite, and it could indicate the tongue is in the improper resting position. Other common symptoms of tongue thrust include mouth breathing, problems eating, a lisp or other type of speech impediment, or being able to see the tongue between the teeth even when the child is asleep.

Long term, tongue thrust causes orthodontic issues because of the constant pressure of the tongue causes the front teeth to protrude and possibly separate to create a gap. If not properly diagnosed and treated, tongue thrust may create gaps between teeth, as well as an open bite or misaligned bite. While traditional orthodontics can fix the undesired appearance of your child’s teeth, often times orthodontic relapse occurs because the root of the problem (the tongue thrust) never was addressed.

The good news is that tongue thrust is very treatable

Since tongue thrust is symptomatic of an OMD, Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry believes that the best way to treat this issue is by treating the OMD that is the root cause of the problem. In many cases, OMD treatment is best accomplished through a course of myofunctional therapy, which involves doing a series of repetitive exercises that work the orofacial system including the mouth and tongue. These exercises are painless, simple, and only take a few minutes each day to perform.

If more intensive methods are needed, Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry may prescribe a customized oral appliance, which is designed from the specific impressions of the patient’s teeth and mouth. These appliances are functional in treating a variety of negative habits, including thumb sucking, mouth breathing, and swallowing issues—among others.

Myofunctional Therapy in Scotts Valley

As part of our commitment to providing oral health services that benefit the entire body, Drs. Max and Ariana Ebrahimian have offered myofunctional therapy as a standard component of treatment available at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry for the past several years. Our staff includes Jeanne Shimizu, who is a licensed and trained myofunctional therapist in Los Gatos, in addition to her three decades of experience as a dental hygienist. If your child has been diagnosed with tongue thrust or is showing some of the other signs of an OMD, schedule a consultation today to see if myofunctional therapy could help. Just call (831) 438-4411.

Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry is proud to offer comprehensive oral care to patients in the areas of Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, and Scotts Valley, California.