Proper placement of the tongue in the mouth is known as proper tongue posture. The ideal position of the tongue is, the tongue being pressed against the roof of the mouth. When at rest, the tongue should touch the roof of the mouth. It has some potential benefits to offer.
The tongue should not press against the back of teeth as can lead to problems with teeth alignment.
Improper tongue posture can lead to the narrower palate. A wide palate has a positive effect on the upper airway, in reducing nasal obstruction and sleep apnea.
The narrowed palate can occur as a result of improper tongue posture which can reduce the amount of support to the jaw and cheekbone. This makes the jaw and cheekbones less prominent over the period of time.
Some people consider mewing as a practice to improve the tongue posture and create a wider palate, though there is no study supporting it. Mewing involves pressing the tongue against the roof of the mouth while in resting posture, rather than letting it lie down on the bottom.
Problems Caused By Improper Tongue Posture
Poor tongue posture can lead to the following problems,
- Speech impairment
- Improper swallowing
- Neck pain
- Sleep apnea
- Muscular pain in the mouth
- Development problems in the jaw and other areas
- Tooth grinding
Tongue thrust: It can lead to misalignment of teeth and issues involving speech. Over time it may lead to jaw malformations and require orthodontic correction.
Mouth breathing: This can cause halitosis, the likelihood of developing sleep disorders, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD).
How To Correct The Tongue Posture?
If you suspect that you might have an improper tongue posture, try this simple exercise to correct it.
Place the tip of the tongue against the hard palate, just above the top teeth at the roof of the mouth. Pull the rest of the tongue against the mouth using suction. Close the mouth. Hold in the position and breathe normally.
This exercise can be repeated several times a day according to your convenience.
Along with the exercise, awareness of the various symptoms plays a role in correcting the tongue posture.
Be aware of the oral posture throughout the day. Where the tongue is situated? Is it pressing against the front teeth or resting on the floor of the mouth.
Also, take note of whether your mouth is frequently open or if you are breathing through your mouth. This is a very important sign of poor tongue posture.
Keep an eye on the other symptoms such as headache causes, neck pain, and other related issues.
It is important to seek medical help for any condition but the practice of the above measures can also help in correcting the posture of the tongue.
Proper tongue posture help in avoiding health issues and is, therefore, a matter of concern. It helps you look better, sleep better and eat better. If your tongue position is not correct you can also consult a dentist and get advice on how to improve it.