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Tongue Thrust/Myofunctional Therapy

PediaSpeech's licensed Speech Pathologists are professionals specially trained to treat Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders. Orofacial myofunctional disorders affect the orofacial muscle complex, including the mouth, tongue, lips, and facial musculature.

What is Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy?

Myofunctional tongue thrust therapy provides a tongue and facial muscle strength workout for appropriate oral rest posture. It primarily targets the tongue, lips, cheek, and jaw muscles. These muscles play a significant role in speaking, breathing, swallowing, and chewing. Strengthening these muscles promotes normal oral rest posture. The specific exercises one may need for myofunctional therapy will vary depending on an individual's needs and goals. In between therapy sessions at PediaSpeech, children are given weekly exercises to practice at home. There are a variety of Myofunctional Therapy exercises that one can efficiently perform at home, in the car, or in other environments. PediaSpeech therapists can help create a curated exercise plan for each child to complete between sessions.

Potential signs of Myofunctional Disorders:

  • Abnormal facial skeletal growth
  • Sleep-disordered breathing
  • Nasal obstruction
  • Oral hygiene and dental problems
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism)
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
  • Tongue-tie
  • Tongue Thrust
  • And many more

This disorder can:

  • Alter the shape of your mouth
  • Relate to feeding difficulties or aversions
  • Affect the alignment of dentition
  • Impact developing speech patterns (specifically the r, s, sh, and l sounds)

How Do we help?

  • Provide a myofunctional tongue thrust therapy treatment plan in communication with your dentist or orthodontist
  • Teach exercises to strengthen their oral muscles and provide "homework" to do
  • Consult and support families on the next steps in treating your child

Elimination of this disorder can assist in the following:

  • Developing proper oral rest posture
  • Providing stability for orthodontic treatment planning and correction
  • Developing healthy breathing patterns
  • Reducing the effects of particular speech sound disorders along with articulation therapy

Want to learn more?

To examine more potential indicators for someone to require the help of a Myofunctional
Therapist, read the Myofunctional Therapy (hyperlinked) blog by Julia Conley, M.S. CCC-SLP.