Tongue Thrust Treatment
Experienced Buffalo Orthodontists Providing Tongue Thrust Treatment Throughout Western New York
If you are experiencing discomfort swallowing, you are not alone. Statistics show that 67-95% of school-aged children between the ages of 5 and 8 present with some tongue thrusting. In some cases, this may require intervention from an orthodontist experienced in tongue thrust treatment. Keep reading to learn more about whether you or your loved one should be evaluated for tongue thrusting.
When evaluating a patient and identifying their orthodontic needs, we can often recognize that the patient has a poorly functioning tongue. What does that mean to us? A poorly functioning tongue can greatly impact whether or not we will be able to treat this patient efficiently – and whether we will have stability afterward.
Tongue Thrust Treatment for Swallowing Problems
A properly functioning tongue rests against the roof of the mouth during breathing and swallowing and is placed behind the upper front teeth during the swallowing pattern. We often see patients who come into the office with what is described as a tongue thrust, meaning that the patient protrudes the tongue between their anterior teeth or brings it forward against their front teeth during the swallow.
Other patients may have what’s called a lateral tongue thrust. When that type of patient swallows, the tongue is placed between their posterior teeth and stabilizes them during the swallowing pattern.
Correcting the Issue
Abnormal tongue patterns during swallowing must be corrected in order to be efficient and achieve stable orthodontic outcomes. We provide tongue thrust treatment at our offices to help treat these conditions, but our feeling is that if there is a problem with the structural relationship between the upper and lower jaw, it is more important to correct that structural relationship first and train the swallow and resting posture of the tongue afterward.
It’s hard to ask a tongue to fit into a space that’s too small for it, although that space being too small might, in fact, have been caused by the tongue. We will often do some preliminary orthodontics and then use appliances in an attempt to retrain a swallow. If our efforts are unsuccessful, the patient can be referred outside the office to either a mild functional therapist or a speech pathologist to treat an abnormal swallowing pattern.
Orthodontists Associates of Western New York is proud to offer tongue thrust treatment throughout Buffalo, Lancaster, Olean, Hamburg, Orchard Park, Dunkirk, East Aurora, and Niagara Falls, New York. If you are considering tongue thrust treatment for yourself or a loved one, please contact one of our seven convenient orthodontic offices to arrange a free consultation.
At Orthodontists Associates of Western New York, our reputation as a leader in orthodontic care is based on one thing… Making a Healthy and Beautiful Smile