Where’s Your Tongue Supposed to Rest in Your Mouth?
Have you ever heard of something called tongue posture? How about tongue positioning? Chances are you probably haven’t, but it’s a very real thing that can cause some very real problems if done incorrectly. In this week’s blog, your dentist in Lancaster covers what tongue posture is, why it’s important to have proper tongue posture, and a few ways to help improve yours if needed.
What is Tongue Posture?
Tongue posture, also known as tongue positioning, is a fancy way of describing how our tongues are positioned in our mouths while at rest. Believe it or not, there are a right way and a wrong way to rest your tongue. While this may sound silly or unimportant, the truth is that proper tongue posture can protect you from other whole-body concerns.
Risks of Bad Tongue Posture
Our tongues are incredibly strong and are connected to other areas outside of our mouths. This means that what you do with your tongue, including how you rest it, can affect the entire body. Bad tongue posture can hurt your eyes, nose, head, neck, shoulders, and of course, teeth. Improper tongue posture can contribute or lead to:
- Sleep Apnea
- Problems with Vision
- Bad Body Posture
- Tooth Damage
Incorrect Tongue Posture
If you find yourself resting your tongue on the bottom of your mouth or up against your teeth, you’re one of the 50% of Americans that have incorrect tongue posture. Constant pressure on the teeth can cause teeth to shift, become crooked, create a bad bite, and even result in habitual teeth grinding (which can create a whole host of problems on its own). Those who rest their tongues on the bottom of the mouth may suffer from more neck pain, jaw pain, and bad body posture overall. Additionally, bad tongue posture can change someone’s appearance and make the face take on a longer, flatter shape or cause the chin or forehead to jut forward.
Correct Tongue Posture
As your dentist in Lancaster will tell you, proper tongue posture can protect your oral health as well as your overall health. Practicing proper tongue positioning can lead to improved sleep, better breathing, and decreased neck, jaw, or head pain. So what exactly is the right way to do this?
Focus on resting your tongue gently on the roof of your mouth and about a half an inch away from your teeth. To fully practice proper tongue posture, your lips should be closed, and your teeth separated ever so slightly.
Can You Fix Improper Tongue Posture?
Good news — you can work to improve your tongue posture. Your dentist in Lancaster has a few tricks, and the first step in fixing bad tongue posture is to find the right spot where your tongue should rest. You can do that one of two ways:
Slide – Place the tip of your tongue on the back of your top teeth and then slide it backward. You should feel a spot where the roof of your mouth slopes upward. The area right before that slope is the prime tongue resting spot.
Smile – The other way you can find your ideal tongue position is to smile wide (we’re talking about really cheesy smile), raise your eyebrows, and try to swallow without unclenching your teeth. You should feel your tongue rise to the roof of your mouth into its ideal resting position.
Like any habit, don’t expect your tongue posture to change overnight. Keep practicing these two tricks to remind yourself to consciously rest your tongue in that ideal position. Over time, muscle memory will replace bad, old posture habits with new, proper positioning.
The tongue is an organ you may not give much thought to until it looks or feels funny. You may jump to a conclusion that you’ve contracted a tongue disease, though what you may have is an underlying condition that affects your tongue. If you exclude any form of trauma to the tongue, it still leaves a substantial number of congenital, acquired, and autoimmune conditions that may cause potential tongue problems. Zolpidem 10 mg http://www.pharmacynewbritain.com/ambien/
Tongue Disease: 3 Conditions That May Affect Your Tongue
- Kawasaki Disease
This is not technically a disease of the tongue, but a brightly-colored, “strawberry tongue” and red, cracked lips in children are common symptoms of Kawasaki disease, according to the Kawasaki Disease Foundation. If your child develops tongue discoloration accompanied by a fever lasting longer than five days, a sore throat, and diarrhea, they may have the condition. Kawasaki disease causes inflammation of the blood vessels, and symptoms often include enlarged lymph nodes in the neck and redness or rash that affects the eyes, lips, palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and the genital area. This condition is serious and requires immediate medical treatment to avoid heart problems and other complications, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
- Black Hairy Tongue
It sounds impossible to believe, but the hair on the tongue isn’t as unusual as you might expect. It develops in up to 13 percent of the population, when mainly older, male patients, often get what appear to be tiny black hairs on their tongue, describes The American Academy of Oral Medicine. These are the papillae that give the tongue its rough texture that hasn’t been sloughed off correctly for some reason. Instead of shedding and being renewed, the papillae grow longer and tangled, trapping leftover food and the resulting bacteria among them. This causes discoloration that makes the papillae appear black. Modafinil for sale http://sellersvillepharmacy.com/modafinil.php
This condition is harmless and temporary, and you can avoid it by practicing a good daily oral hygiene program and using a toothbrush that has a tongue cleaner on the back, like the Colgate 360° Advanced 4 Zone toothbrush. It removes bacteria from teeth, tongue, cheeks, and gums and has an innovative cheek and tongue cleaner design.
- Sjögren’s Syndrome
Sjögren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disorder that affects many areas of the body, including the salivary glands. The salivary glands don’t produce enough saliva, which leads to dry mouth and tongue problems, such as cracking and burning, according to The National Resource Center on Lupus. Additionally, speaking, swallowing, and eating and the decreased saliva may make your teeth more susceptible to decay because bacteria and food particles aren’t washed away from the teeth.
Team up with your physician and dentist in Lancaster Texas to address your systemic and oral symptoms to ensure your teeth and tongue health. What you may think is a tongue disease could be an entirely other condition that affects the tongue.
We love our patients and love to help them form a healthy dental life that will last them a lifetime. Lancaster Dental is a dental clinic in Lancaster, Bellaire Acres, Westridge, Lancaster North, and Ten Mile Creek Neighborhood we have the best dental services in Texas: General & Cosmetic Dentistry, Crowns & Bridges, Dental Implants, Emergency Services, Teeth Whitening, Pediatric Dentistry, Braces & Invisalign For more information call us to answer all of your questions so you can get an appointment today.