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Improper Swallowing

Jennifer Nicoll is a certified Myofunctional Therapist, providing Myofunctional Therapy through Myo & Me

“Through Myofunctional Therapy, we retrain the muscles to swallow correctly…”

– Jennifer

Swallowing seems like a very simple activity – one we perform 500 to 1000 times per day – but there are correct, and incorrect, ways to swallow.

Those who are incorrectly swallowing can, for example, show signs of tongue thrust. A tongue thrust can occur when a person swallows and the tip or sides of the tongue press against the teeth. If this happens 500 to 1000 time per day, every day, then over time that force can slowly move the teeth out of place.

Through Myofunctional Therapy we retrain the muscles so that swallowing is performed correctly. This is achieved when the tip of the tongue presses against the hard palate in the roof of the mouth (just behind the front teeth) as you swallow, whilst the rest of the tongue follows a wave like motion on the roof of the mouth during the swallow.

Improper Swallowing and their Impact on Dental Health

OMDs and/or oral habits such as thumb or finger sucking can often lead to dental issues, such as:

  • Overcrowding of the teeth
  • An open bite – where there is a gap between the teeth when biting
  • A misaligned bite – where the top and bottom teeth don’t line up correctly within your mouth, e.g. an under or overbite

An abnormal bite can not only look unsightly but can also lead to complications with the jaw joint, and how someone bites, chews or swallows food.

For these reasons, Myofunctional Therapy and its emphasis on correct swallowing patterns is complementary to functional orthodontics, and also helps to prevent relapse following completion of these treatments.

For more information on our Myofunctional Therapy offerings, please visit Our Treatments page.