Speech Therapy

Would Frequent Tongue Thrusts Cause Speech problems in Children?

Tongue thrusts are involuntary movements of the tongue either towards the teeth or backward and is an infantile problem. The movements of the tongue are restricted in an infant and thus while swallowing thrusts his/her tongue against the teeth. This habit is usually retained by many individuals and is difficult to resolve due to it’s involuntary nature.

Many parents have the doubt if frequent tongue thrusts cause speech problems in children.

Tongue Thrusts: It has been observed that, every human swallows at least 1200-2000 times in a day there by exerting a pressure of 4 pounds per each swallow. This is the prime reason for many people to develop improper teeth alignments. As a matter of fact, these tongue thrusts are subconscious, making it difficult to rectify to this problem.

Let us look at a few reasons for people developing tongue thrusts-

  • Thumb sucking
  • Allergies
  • Nasal congestion
  • Hereditary factors

Affect of Tongue Thrusts on Speech: Tongue thrusts might occasionally cause speech problems because of the swallowing pattern.

  • But, this pattern of swallowing is not permanent and children tend to grow out of it very easily. No speech therapy is also required to correct this problem.
  • It has been observed that about 97 percent newborns have the problem of tongue thrusts. But, this figure goes down to 80 in the age period of five and six and takes a steep fall to 3 percent in children who are more than 12 years old.
  • If at all a child experiences problems, it is only in the childhood and this problem could lead to a lack of ability to make the s sound properly.

For parents who are worried about excessive swallowing due to tongue thrusts, there is absolutely no need to worry about speech problems. The problem usually rectifies with the growth of the child. If at all you want the problem corrected, it is best to see an orthodontist or a speech therapist who can rectify tongue thrusts with the cooperation of the child.

1 response to Would Frequent Tongue Thrusts Cause Speech problems in Children?

  1. My daugher is 21 years old has a tounge thrust problem. Where does she need to go? Who does she need to see? We live just south of Houston Texas

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