From our experience, many people may have heard the term
TONGUE THRUST, which is a myoufunctional disorder, but may not know what it means.
Most of the damage from the tongue resting low or on the teeth happens at night when the tongue presses against the teeth for long periods of time.
The tongue, like the controlled forces of braces, can move teeth, and it's a VERY powerful muscle.
Tongue thrust is where the tongue rests against or between the front or side teeth rather than ON the palate (roof of the mouth). The name tongue thrust is the action people make when they have this condition as the tongue moves forward to swallow or "thrusts" forward.
The misconception is that this thrusting tongue movement is responsible for moving the teeth out of alignment. However, that is not true.
The tongue RESTING on the teeth or floor of the mouth is one of the MAJOR causes of problems in tooth eruption, tooth alignment, and facial development in addition to problems with chewing, swallowing, digestion, JAW PAIN and HEADACHES!
Many professionals do not understand how much the tongue impacts the teeth, nor that it maintains the upper dental arch. Because of this, applying braces will straighten the teeth while they are on, but as soon as they are removed, the tongue may push the teeth back out of alignment, especially if the retainers are not worn. This is because the UNDERLYING problem of the low tongue resting posture was NOT corrected. For many it is also a symptom of an airway problem!