How the Tongue’s Position in the Mouth Affects Our Health
At first sight, “the right tongue position” sounds just as odd as “the right eye position” because these parts of the body have very specific locations.
It may sound surprising, but our tongue has right and wrong positions that influence not only our oral health but also the health of other body parts.
5-Minute Crafts is going to tell you why the tongue should rest on the roof of the mouth and away from the teeth.
❗ This article is for informational purposes only and can’t replace the recommendations of experts.
The tongue is a muscular organ of taste made up from 2 parts: an oral part at the front and a pharyngeal part at the back.
There are 2 groups of muscles that form the tongue:
- 4 intrinsic muscles, not attached to bone that can alter the shape of the tongue
- 4 extrinsic muscles that can change the position of the tongue and are anchored to bone
The tongue is a very strong organ. And even though it’s located in the mouth, it impacts several areas of our bodies, including our mouth, eyes, nose, head, neck, and shoulders.
Bad tongue positioning
Improper tongue position may lead to:
- bad posture
- sleep apnea
- vision problems
- problems with temporomandibular joints
- tooth damage
- neck pain
- face shape distortion
- articulation problems
- bad bite
The following positions are considered to be wrong:
- the tongue pressed against the teeth
- the tongue is not on the roof but on the bottom of the mouth and its tip is very low
Try putting the tongue in the wrong position, and you will most likely notice a shift in the jaw, neck, and head.
Another incorrect position is pushing the tongue forward when swallowing. It often occurs in kids.
Proper tongue positioning
The right tongue positioning has a lot of advantages and has a positive influence on the body. For example, it:
- improves sleep
- protects the teeth from moving
- minimizes neck pain
- minimizes jaw pain
- decreases the intensity of headaches
This position is considered correct:
- put the tongue on the roof of the mouth
- the tip should touch the roof right behind the teeth but not the teeth themselves
- relax but purse the lips
- the teeth should be slightly parted
When the tongue is in this position, it doesn’t put any pressure on the teeth and the bite is correct. That is why this tongue position is way more beneficial for the body.
How to fix the wrong tongue position
An improper tongue position can be fixed. To do this, you need to pay attention to it every time the tongue goes down. It will take time, but you will learn to keep the tongue up eventually.
There’s also orofacial myofunctional therapy. It’s performed by speech-language pathologists.
Even though you can correct the tongue position by yourself, you need professionals to undo the consequences of having had it the wrong position.