Sticking the tongue out can have different meanings. Children may do it as a sign of enjoyment, while grownups may do it to express disgust. If a person needs to concentrate, they may stick their tongue out. Some medical conditions can cause a person to stick out their tongue. Depending on the specific issue, these symptoms often accompany other symptoms.
A baby sticking out their tongue may be learning about their body, or it may reflect a root issue, some of which might be difficult to interpret. These issues are discussed below:
Imitation and Play
As a baby learns about their body, they may make a variety of motions. Infants frequently express emotions with their mouths. They may repeatedly open and close their mouths, stick their tongues out, “blow raspberries,” or make other vocal sounds. Sticking the tongue out may become a habit for some babies because it feels pleasant or exciting.
A baby may also mimic what its parents, caretakers, or others do. According to a study published in Developmental Science: A Trusted Source, this type of imitation can occur in children as young as one week old. These activities are natural and part of the learning process about the body.
A young child opening their mouth, sticking their tongue out, or smacking or licking their lips could be an indication of hunger. They may also clench their hands or put them in their mouths as they turn their heads toward their mother’s breast or a bottle.
A child who sticks out his or her tongue or chews on it may be teething. Other signs include gnawing on items or their hands, as well as being generally irritable or unhappy.
Breathing Through The Mouth
While most babies breathe through their noses, one or more disorders may make this challenging. Congestion, blocked nasal passages, huge tonsils, and other factors can all lead newborns to breathe through their mouths rather than their noses. If this occurs, they may stick their tongue out more than usual.
Contact a doctor if your baby appears to be having difficulty breathing or produces unusual breathing sounds. In some circumstances that require treatment, doctors can surgically remove tissues, such as tonsils, that might cause mouth breathing.
A big tongue is referred to as macroglossia in medicine. A person suffering from this illness may stick their tongue out more than usual. If the tongue does not fit properly in the mouth, it may even stick out the most.
Macroglossia is usually the result of a secondary disorder, such as Down syndrome, hypothyroidism, or Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome. It could be caused by aberrant muscle growth or by heredity. Anyone who suspects their child has macroglossia should consult a doctor.
Micrognathia is the medical word for a jaw that is smaller than typical. It can be caused by heredity and can cause the tongue to stick out if it does not fit properly in the mouth.
Some disorders, such as the Pierre-Robin sequence or cleft palate, can result in micrognathia. Anyone who finds their children sticking out their tongues more than usual should seek medical attention.