Relationship of tongue-thrust swallowing and anterior open bite with articulation disorders: a clinical study

J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent. 1999 Jun;17(2):33-9.


A Paediatric dentist may be the first person consulted for professional advice concerning children with speech problems. A positive significant relationship has been hypothesized by some authors between tongue-thrust swallowing and articulation disorders in children. This study was undertaken to find out whether any articulation disorders are associated with the habit of tongue-thrust swallowing, or is it the type of anterior bite that plays an important role in the normal or abnormal speech production in tongue-thrust swallowers. Forty subjects with tongue-thrust swallowing in the age group of 7-16 years were examined. Of these 20 had normal anterior bite while rest had anterior open bite. A word articulation test was used and word level articulation testing was done for initial, medial and final positions. The sounds tested were: Linguoalveolars, Labiodentals, Linguodentals, Linguopalatals, Bilabials and Linguovelars. The results of the study have indicated that the presence of articulation disorders is strongly associated with the anterior open bite present in tongue-thrust swallowers but a simple, direct relationship between the presence of defective consonant sounds and tongue-thrust swallowing has not been found.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Articulation Disorders / etiology*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Deglutition Disorders / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Malocclusion / complications*
  • Malocclusion / etiology
  • Speech Articulation Tests
  • Tongue Habits / adverse effects*