What is Tongue Thrust and Lisping?
Lisping occurs when the tongue protudes between the teeth when making the "S" sound, resulting in a "th" sound
Tongue thrust is the pushing of the tongue against the teeth while swallowing or at rest. The average person swallows 2000 - 4000 times per day and exerts pressure with each swallow. This can push the teeth out of alignment and may cause distorted speech sounds.
How is Tongue Thrust related to Lisping?
Not all people who have a tongue thrust have a lisp
Most people who have a lisp have a tongue thrust.
If you think you have a lisp, watch this video:
Continue to read about the "IJustWantTo Correct My Tongue Thrust" Program!
What Causes Tongue Thrust?
Thumb sucking and/or nail biting
Premature loss of "baby" teeth
Lack of muscle coordination
Enlarged tonsils & adenoids
What Associated Oral Behaviors May Be Present?
Sucks the thumb, fingers, tongue
Bites fingernails, pencils, etc.
Breathes through the mouth
Habitually rests tongue against or between the teeth
Drinks large amounts of liquid with meals, washing down the food
Why is the Dentist / Orthodontist Concerned?
Tongue thrust often results in an open bite and/or "buck" teeth. If a person is swallowing incorrectly, it will be difficult to maintain the full orthodontic result: the tonguewill continue to affect the overall jaw development as well as the tooth alignment. Therefore, it is important to correct the tongue thrust before braces are removed.
What treatment is appropriate?
Based on the findings of the evaluation, specific goals are determined to meet the needs of the individual, such as:
Train the muscles necessary for a good swallow and correct resting posture
Teach the correct swallow
Make the correct swallow a habit
Teach correct production of sounds to eliminate a lisp
Eliminate undesirable oral behaviors
This is the third in the IJustWantTo series of books. The author, Janet Bennett, M.Ed., CCC-SLP, has a Master's degree in Speech Pathology and has been a licensed, Certified Speech Pathologist for over 30 years. She has treated Tongue Thrust exclusively for the past 10 years.