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the tongue is the ruler of the mouth.

The importance of the tongue in facial development

Nov. 3, 2023
Calling the tongue the "ruler of the mouth," Barbara Tritz wants to impress upon her peers its importance. Dental hygienists can help patients stay health by understanding their tongue.

The tongue dictates the shape of your face, the way you talk, your posture, your sleep, even your jaw joints and total body health. If someone has pain in their temporomandibular joint (TMJ), it could be caused by their tongue.

Your patients can learn to be healthy by taking charge of their tongue. It all starts with what professionals call “tongue rest posture.” Tell patients to notice where the tongue is in their mouth. Is it resting on the floor of the mouth, puddling behind the bottom teeth? Is it between the front teeth, touching the front teeth, or is it resting on the roof of the mouth not touching any teeth? Is it even in their mouth? Are they mouth breathing?

The list of health problems from improper tongue rest posture is extensive. Proper tongue rest posture is: tongue on the palate, lips together, teeth apart or lightly touching, with the breathing through the nose.

Read my blog post, The Mighty Tongue.  

More topics from my blog

The dental dangers of sippy cups, pacifiers, and thumb-sucking

Dental decay and conquering cavities

Barbara Tritz, MSB, BSDATE, BRDH, is a biological dental hygienist and orofacial myofunctional therapist whose blog, Queen of Dental Hygiene, provides patients the information they need to help them on their healing journey. “Our one-hour appointment time was just not long enough to share all the many important facts I wanted our patients to learn. Dental hygiene is about so much more than just teaching brushing and flossing," says Barbara. “We are healers, educators, and lifesavers, and we need to give our patients the tools and skills to empower them to true wellness and health.”