Speech Therapy

Speech Therapy For Lisping With Tongue Thrust

Lisping With Tongue Thrust:

About 67–95% children between 5–8 years of age show tongue thrust. This may be present along with any orthodontic problem or speech problem. In the US, 20-80% of orthodontic patients show some form of tongue thrust. People often have open bites with tongue thrusting. So treatment should be done the earliest to avoid further damage to mouth. It can also cause ‘Malocclusion’ or bad bite due to extreme pressure on teeth. The ‘s’ sound is generally most affected. The person speaks ‘s’ like voiceless `th’ and `z’ like voiced `th’. This is called Lisping. Else speech is not much affected. Lateral Lisping is also seen where air is forced from the side of the tongue instead of the forward movement. Lateral lisping can be corrected with treatment of tongue thrust.

Speech Therapy Treatment For Lisping With Tongue Thrust:

  • Avoid licking lips before swallowing because this is the initiation of a thrust.
  • Avoid placing your teeth apart before swallowing.
  • Try placing the back of your tongue to your mouth’s roof during swallowing. If not comfortable, place your tongue anywhere you are comfortable other than between your teeth.
  • Place your back teeth together while swallowing.
  • Try out swallowing with liquid in your mouth. Smile (such that your lips are apart and your teeth are shown) keeping liquid in your mouth and swallow. A normal swallow will not allow squirting of liquids out. Because if your tongue does not seal the roof of your mouth, then liquid will be forced out of your teeth.
  • You can always practise this on your dinner table so that you will be cautious of not squirting the liquid out of your mouth onto the person sitting in front of you.
  • Keep your hands on the neck. Try to feel the throat muscles moving keeping your lips and mouth muscles steady.
  • Are you feeling your lips being pursed and your chin being bunched up (as a golf ball), then you have a thrust.
    Place an applique (a tongue habit appliance) to block your tongue.

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