Signs and Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms

You might have a tongue thrust if:

  • Your tongue protrudes between/against your front teeth when forming /s, z, t, d, n, l, sh/
  • You have a frequent open-mouth resting posture with your lips parted and/or your tongue resting against your front teeth
  • You have frequent mouth breathing
  • You are a messy and/or loud eater
  • Your tongue is visible near the front of your mouth or between your teeth while swallowing and/or speaking
  • You are unable or have difficulty swallowing while smiling
  • You have experienced reversal of your orthodontic treatment
  • You have protruding front teeth

Causes of Tongue Thrusts


Common causes of tongue thrusts include:

  • Prolonged use of artificial nipples used in feeding infants (pacifiers/bottles)
  • Prolonged use of sippy cups
  • High, arched, and/or narrow palate
  • Allergies or nasal congestion
  • Macroglossia (enlarged tongue)
  • Thumb sucking
  • Large tonsils
  • Hereditary factors
  • Ankyloglossia (tongue tied)

Tongue Thrust Image

What does it look like?

Not all tongue thrusts will look the same, but a common tongue thrust will look similar to this:

Resting Position

Resting Position

Resting Position is frequently mentioned throughout the Bust the Thrust program. Here is a short video demonstration of the Resting Position:

The Spot

Where is "The Spot"?

Many times while completing the exercises in this program "The Spot" is mentioned. "The Spot", also referred to as "The Bumpy Spot", or the "Alveolar Ridge", is located directly behind your top front teeth. While completing the exercises that direct you toward "The Spot", place the tip of your tongue on the bumpy spot behind your top front teeth. While placing the tip of your tongue on "The Spot", make sure that your tongue is not touching or pushing against your teeth in any way.

Shopping List

Needed Therapy Supplies

Some of the activities and exercises used in the Bust the Thrust program require the use of various supplies. Here is a quick list of these needed supplies:

  • 1 Hand-held mirror
  • 63 Tongue Depressors
  • 1 Spray Bottle
  • 21 Straws
  • Soft Foods (applesauce, pudding, yogurt, etc.)
  • 1 spoon
  • 1 regular sized drinking glass
  • Liquids for drinking
  • Variety of food
  • 125 mints