Your tongue is important in speech, but for some reason, it may not be working the right way when you speak.
A "lisp" or difficulty in articulating certain words is often noticed. If the muscles in the tongue and lips are incorrectly postured, it can prevent a person from forming sounds of Normal speech.
Remember, your tongue should not touch your front teeth when you speak english, except when you make the "th" sound as in "thank you" or "Thursday".
- Tongue-Tie (Ankyloglossia)
- Very Crooked teeth
- Small or underdeveloped Upper Jaw or Palate
Tongue-tied people are unable to move their tongues properly. This can cause speech and chewing problems as well as restricting the natural development of the upper jaw, including the mid-face.
ADHD sufferers frequently display speech problems.
Resting Tongue position is very important in the proper development of the palate and the function of your mouth and face in general. When your mouth is closed the tip of the tongue should rest on the rough ridge area just behind your front teeth, and the tongue body should rest in the "Roof of The Mouth". Make a note of this yourself when you have a moment.
Exercise: Speech test? Make a note of what happens to the tip of your tongue when you say the letters T, D, N, L, S and Z?
Try saying this sentance with added force; "Ted and Suzie love lollipops and salty donuts"
You may notice that your tongue touches the ridge with all the letters, except S and Z
If the tip of the tongue was pushing up against your font teeth while articulating S, and Z, then you have a Tongue Thrust.
This is quite common in children, and some grow out of it, but if it is not corrected, apart from speeech problems, there will certainly be changes in the alignment of the Front Teeth.
Tongue Thrusting will cause an Open Bite ( "Buck-Teeth") and crowding of the Front teeth, as well as narrowing of the Upper Jaw.
Send the Tongue and the lips to the Gym !
It makes sense that practising any form of tongue exercise that help to strenghten the muscles of the tongue will not alone improve the ability to make better sounds, but will also give a much more stable orthodontic result.
These exercises are taught in the practice as part of our Myofunctional Therapy Program.