Tongue thrust appears when the tongue presses forward too far in the mouth, resulting in an abnormal orthodontic condition called an “open bite.”

The condition occurs mostly in children. There are many causes including allergies, and tongue-tie.

In children, a tongue thrust is apparent when there’s too much forward movement of the tongue during swallowing and speaking. Most often, the tongue tends to push forward in the mouth. Sometimes the tongue presses into the back of the teeth.

Tongue thrust has a number of signs in children who have developed the pattern. These can include:

  • The tip of the child’s tongue sticks out between the teeth, whether the child is resting, swallowing, or speaking
  • Mouth breathing
  • Inability to close the lips completely – This could be due to a structural abnormality or habit
  • Slow, fast, or messy eating
  • Speech impediment – Lisping of s and z sounds is common