Tongue thrust (also known as a “reverse swallow” or “orofacial muscular imbalance”) is a disorder where the tongue moves forward in an exaggerated way. The tongue may lie too far forward during rest or may extend out between the upper and lower teeth during speech and swallowing.
Children who have a tongue thrust due to the following factors may benefit from working with a speech-language pathologist:
Although not all children with a tongue thrust demonstrate concerns involving speech, clinicians often recommend ongoing speech therapy sessions. Not only will the speech-language pathologist assist with speech sound errors, but they will also address possible swallowing concerns. They may do so by improving the muscle strength and coordination of the tongue and lips, as well as present exercises that are taught and repeated many times a day.