Spot Pal's Leading Provider


Did you know that lingual strength is required for proper chewing and swallowing? Lingual muscles help move food within our mouths when we lateralize food from one side of the oral cavity to the other during mastication. Being able to masticate food appropriately allows us to break down the food enough to form a cohesive pile of food that can be safely propelled to the back of the oral cavity and transported to the esophagus. Swallowing safely relies heavily on the strength and range of motion that the lingual muscles provide. For those with weaker lingual muscles or a physical restriction, such as a shortened lingual frenum, swallowing becomes harder, creating a daily challenge when swallowing, chewing, and even speaking.

Oral motor and/or myofunctional therapy may be recommended to help increase the lingual strength and range of motion required for proper swallowing. Why might someone need this type of therapy? As mentioned above, decreased lingual strength, due to immature muscles, or in addition to another medical condition (i.e., neurological disorders, exposure to chemotherapy/radiation, etc.) may impact lingual strength and abilities. There are many oral motor exercises you can expect to see in therapy, including, but not limited to: lingual elevation, lingual protrusion/retraction, lingual tension/relaxation, and exercises that support the elevation of the tongue blade to the palate. These are just a few exercises completed in therapy to aid in strengthening lingual muscles for safe, strong swallowing.

The Spot Pal may further assist in learning placement and training the tongue for carry-over outside of the therapy room. In some cases, what is learned in therapy sessions is not carried over in day-to-day life or is not done so correctly. The Spot Pal is beneficial because in order to retain muscle memory and create new and better habits, repetition and consistency is key! The Spot Pal offers a simple and easy solution as a noninvasive therapy tool! It helps encourage proper lingual resting posture, to support oral motor skills, chewing/swallowing, and placement for certain speech sounds.