The Importance of Tongue Strength
The tongue is an amazing hydrostat that helps shape our teeth, airways and craniofacial structures among other. It has been scientifically proven that the tongue strength plays a significant role and should be evaluated.
There are eight muscles in the tongue. Four of them being intrinsic, which act to change the shape of the tongue; and four extrinsic, which help to change the position of the tongue. In the case of habitual mouth breathing, these muscles become weak further contributing to airway collapsibility. Therefore, finding the etiological cause of the mouth breathing along with strengthening these muscles through the use of oropharyngeal exercises is key to help open up the airway.
In a study titled “Relationship Between Mouth Breathing Etiology and Maximum Tongue Pressure” by Tiago Costa Pereira et al., it was noted that mechanical obstructions, among them the pharyngeal and palatine tonsil hypertrophy alter the maximum tongue pressure in oral breathing children. Therefore, it is essential to address what is contributing to the mouth breathing as the airway trump’s everything.