Q:

What are tongue exercises?

A:

Tongue exercises are meant to extend range movement of the tongue, according to the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. It can also help with jaw movement, swallowing and speech. Tongue exercises include sticking out the tongue for an extended period of time, retraction and protruding the tongue between the lips.

About.com mentions that tongue exercises can help in cases of dysphagia, a condition that renders swallowing difficult or nearly impossible. A study demonstrates that eight weeks of tongue exercises can improve swallowing ability. Tongue techniques are based on repetition and setting higher goals with each triumph. It is essentially the same as physical exercise, pushing oneself until reaching the next level.

Tongue techniques are also important in strengthening the tongue. According to IOPI Medical, tongue exercise is necessary in the event of a weak tongue. Studies indicate that people with swallowing problems have weaker tongues than a healthy person. Research also shows that patients get satisfaction out of reaching goals, even if they only make slight improvements.

Tongue exercise also works for people suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, according to HowToCureSleepApnea.com. It can also help with snoring. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused when the tongue relaxes too far back into the throat, obstructing the airway. Oral exercises play a role in strengthening the tongue to avoid reverting to a relaxed state. Specific tongue exercises include gargling for five minutes, and repeating every few days, or using the tongue to press a spoon against the top of the mouth for as long as possible.


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