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Tongue, lips, & swallowing

The number of people who have difficulty swallowing after a stroke--dysphagia--may be as high as 65 percent. Dysphagia may go away over time. 
The National Stroke Association has a helpful page about dysphagia and lists these possible symptoms:
  • Difficulty starting to swallow
  • Choking when food gets stuck
  • Coughing or gagging while swallowing
  • Liquid coming out of the nose after trying to swallow
  • Food getting caught in the lungs
  • Weak voice
  • Drooling
  • Poor tongue control
  • Loss of gag reflex
Lots of food products are sold for people with dysphagia (all are available from Amazon too.):
A free iPad/iPhone app called SmallTalk Dysphagia contains phrases that cover eating equipment, meal assistance, diet, liquids, medications, and compensatory treatment techniques. It also contains four demonstration videos of swallowing techniques.

But a speech therapist is essential to really learn the exercises, techniques, and recommendations. These can include changing posture and sitting position, reducing distractions at mealtime, eating slower with smaller amounts of food, and changing food texture.

Here is a excellent short documentary about swallowing problems: 

For more info, see "27 Dysphagia Myths – Busted!"

Dysarthria
Another common problem is called dysarthria, weakness of the tongue and lips causing slurred speech. For dysarthria, some people recommend doing some of the following exercises.

Mouth and lips exercises
  1. Open and close your mouth slowly/quickly. Be sure your lips are all the way closed. Repeat.
  2. Pucker your lips, as for a kiss, then relax. Repeat.
  3. Spread lips into a big smile, hold then relax. Try to make both sides of your mouth even. Repeat.
  4. Pucker, hold, smile, hold. Try to make both sides of your mouth even. Repeat this alternating movement without holding.
  5. Close your lips tightly and press together. Hold for 3-5 seconds. Relax and repeat.
  6. Move your jaw from side to side as slow as you can. Relax and repeat.
  7. Puff your cheeks up with air. Hold the air in for 3-5 seconds. Try not to let the air escape out of your lips or nose. Relax and repeat.
  8. Tap your right cheek with your index finger while holding air in your cheeks. Try not to let air escape through your lips or nose. Relax and repeat. 
Tongue exercises
  1. Stick out your tongue so that it is in the middle of your mouth and it does not go off to the side. Hold that position for 3-5 seconds. Relax and repeat.
  2. Stick out your tongue and move it slowly from corner to corner. Relax and repeat. Repeat moving your tongue quickly.
  3. Stick out your tongue and try to touch your chin with the tongue tip. Relax and repeat.
  4. Stick out your tongue as far as you can and try to reach your nose with the tongue tip. Don' t use your bottom lip or your fingers to help. Hold that position for 3-5 seconds. Relax and repeat.
  5. Hold a spoon steady and upright (like a popsicle). Push your tongue tip against the back of the spoon. Relax and repeat.
  6. While holding your head steady, pretend to lick a sucker moving the tongue tip from down to up.
  7. Move your tongue all around the inside of your lips in a circle as completely as you can touching the upper lip, corner, lower lip, and corner. Relax and repeat. Do the same exercise moving your tongue around the outside of your lips.