A tongue thrust occurs when the tongue moves in a horizontal plane (instead of vertical) and pushes against the teeth during a swallow.
A tongue thrust may cause dental issues such as an overbite or an open-bite and may be associated with thumbsucking, mouth breathing, and ear infections. Children with upper respiratory issues and chronic ear infections may exhibit an open-mouth posture. An open-mouth posture may lead to a forward tongue position.
Tongue thrust may affect the production of sounds such as /s/ and /z/. A speech therapist may combine traditional articulation therapy along with oral motor therapy and Oral Placement Therapy to improve the production of these sounds, and eliminate tongue thrust.