Do you ever wonder if you’re resting your tongue in the wrong place? Have you experienced biting your tongue and questioned why it happened? It turns out that about 50% of Americans have improper tongue posture. Yes, there is indeed a correct place to rest your tongue. But where exactly should it be? Should it relax at the bottom of your mouth, at the top, or perhaps between your teeth? Let’s consult your trusted dentist in Herndon to find out.
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Understanding Tongue Positioning
Tongue positioning refers to how we position our tongues while at rest. It may sound trivial, but there is such a thing as good and bad tongue positioning. Surprisingly, bad tongue posture can affect not only our oral health but also other parts of our bodies.
The Implications of Bad Tongue Positioning
Remember the song that goes, “the leg bone is connected to the knee bone?” Well, our tongues are somewhat similar. Tongues are incredibly strong muscles that have an impact on various areas of our bodies, including our mouths, eyes, noses, heads, necks, and shoulders. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that improper tongue posture can cause issues in these areas. It can lead to or contribute to problems such as sleep apnea, TMJ, vision issues, poor body posture, and even tooth damage.
The Art of Proper Tongue Positioning
So, what exactly is proper tongue positioning? It’s quite simple, really. Proper tongue positioning involves gently resting your tongue on the roof of your mouth, away from your teeth. During this resting state, your lips should also be closed, and your teeth should have a slight gap between them. Practicing proper tongue positioning can help protect your teeth from shifting, improve your quality of sleep, reduce neck and jaw pain, and alleviate the frequency and intensity of headaches.
The Consequences of Bad Tongue Positioning
If you rest your tongue on the bottom of your mouth or against your teeth, your dentist in Herndon will tell you that you have bad tongue positioning. Besides the previously mentioned concerns, constantly applying pressure to the back of your teeth can cause them to shift, become crowded, grind, or even decay. Additionally, resting your tongue at the bottom of your mouth can result in increased neck and jaw pain, as well as alter your facial appearance. Try this experiment: rest your tongue on the roof of your mouth, then move it to the bottom. You’ll notice a significant change in your chin, neck, and head. Over time, consistently resting your tongue on the lower mouth can cause a longer, flatter face shape or permanently protrude your chin or forehead.
Correcting Bad Tongue Positioning
Fortunately, you can improve your resting tongue positioning by first becoming more aware of where your tongue naturally falls when at rest. If you notice that your tongue tends to fall to the bottom of your mouth or push up against your teeth, make a conscious effort to change its position. Keep in mind that changing your tongue posture permanently may take time and practice, so be patient.
If you have concerns about your tongue positioning and how it may impact your oral and overall health, don’t hesitate to discuss it with your dentist in Herndon.
iSmile Dental Care has five convenient dental offices in Northern Virginia, including Manassas, Reston, Gainesville, Fairfax, and Herndon.
(Original Image Source: iSmile Dental Care)