Clients of all ages need Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy. Seeking out assistance to retrain a tongue thrust or seeking therapy to improve health. Children who are noisy swallowing food and chewing with mouth open age into adulthood with the same manners. Unable to chew with their mouth closed, why? As chronic mouth breathers, nasal congestion leads to the mouth being used to eat and breathe. One of my patients didn't know how loud he chewed until his wife was filming their daughter at dinner. He could hear himself chew, "like a goat gnawing on branches" in the video!
Having a tongue thrust or tethered tongue has tremendous impact on the digestive system. Since the mouth is the portal to the body and the start of digestion, a system made up of tubes and valves. When the valve at the beginning of the system is not working properly it will offset the rest of the track. When the swallow is compromised by the tongue not functioning correctly, aerophagia (swallowing air) begins. Aerophagia creates gas, burping, hiccuping, stomach aches, food babies to name a few (http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/14927/1/Aerophagia-Symptoms-and-Treatment.html).
This video shows how this 8 year old's tongue thrust created her to struggle with swallowing, engaging other muscles to get the swallow completed. She had food aversions (avoided certain textures of food due to it being too challenging to eat), excessive saliva, premature birth, chronic ear infections, speech therapy, digestive issues. Very common in tongue thrusting habits. Listen for the gulp sound and notice her struggle to swallow.
After frenectomy and orofacial myofunctional therapy completed watch how she swallows! Did you notice the difference? She came a long way in her therapy!
You don't know what you don't know! As a dental hygienist for 18 years I never evaluated my patients for a tongue thrust. It is not in our curriculum. Now I show all my students during their extra oral and intra oral evaluations what to look for and give them follow up questions to ask their patients. Identifying these deviated swallows is crucial to our health for many reasons. Please find a provider who is looking for this and talking about it!