Why Is Low Tongue Resting Posture a Problem?

low tongue resting posture

Low tongue resting posture is a major issue!

I don’t mean to be alarmist but sometimes we have to speak the truth. And here’s the cold hard fact, low tongue resting posture is a major issue.


The tongue should always rest on the roof of the mouth when you’re not speaking or eating. Not just the tongue tip, but the entire tongue should rest on the palate, all day and all night!!

There are several main purposes of the tongue resting on the palate.  It stimulates the release of endorphins/feel good chemicals. Without those endorphins being released (due to low tongue posture,) oral habits form. Oral habits like sucking the thumb or fingers, for example, which fill a void and release these same endorphins! 

💡When you learn this it’s like a light-bulb moment- no wonder so many children develop oral habits- the tongue isn’t stimulating the palate! 

Low tongue resting posture also promotes a munch chew pattern beyond the age we expect a munch chew to be present. 

Why is this problematic? We have many children (and adults!) using this pattern far beyond toddlerhood. An adult-like rotary chew should evolve starting around 9 months of age (with a diagonal chew sometimes evolving first) and be mastered as the primary chew pattern by 36 months of age. 

What’s the problem with a continued munch chew in an older child or adult? 

Children and adults with a munch chew pattern beyond 6-9 months of age often struggle to suction their tongue to the roof of their mouth (AKA lingual palatal suction). Suctioning the tongue to the roof of the mouth is critical for a proper swallow! If a patient is unable to suction their tongue to the palate, this leads to a tongue forward swallow, more commonly referred to as tongue thrusting

Not only can low tongue posture lead to oral habits and a tongue forward swallow,  it can also lead to a high vaulted palate. When the palate is high it leads to crowded and misaligned teeth. We may also see a deep bite develop. Other issues that may arise include a crossbite, lateral pressure on temporomandibular joints (TMJ), and even TMJ disorder (TMJD). 

In myo, we address the tongue resting posture to help avoid many of these issues from developing and/or improve the quality of life if some of these issues have already developed. 

The tongue plays such an important role in our overall health and wellbeing, don’t underestimate it and don’t ignore it! 

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