A tongue-tie is very obvious to anyone who sees one.
All tongue tie is, is a frenulum that is too short or tight. A frenulum can be anywhere down the tongue and may not be easily visualized.
“All tongue ties do not look alike – adding to the difficulty of spotting them. They can be thin and membranous, thick and white, short, long or wide, extending from the margin of the tongue all the way to the lower front teeth, or so short and tight that they make a web connecting the tongue to the floor of the mouth” (tonguetie.net)
If a person can stick out their tongue past their lips, then there is no tongue-tie.
Depending on the insertion point along the underside of the tongue, some ties allow for the front of the tongue to look normal and some can extend their tongue far beyond the lips. It is the ability to elevate the entire tongue that determines a tongue tie.
All tongue ties need to be released.
Some people are able to compensate quite well with a tongue tie. It is when there is a functional impact (speech, swallow, mouth breathing, neck/jaw pain) that the need for a release becomes apparent.
A tongue tie does not affect speech.
Of course not all tongue tied children have speech difficulties however others struggle with sounds that require certain tongue actions - particularly when the tongue tip cannot elevate properly or the back margins cannot stabilize against the molars.
Frenectomy or frenulotomy is a very invasive procedure.
A frenectomy is a simple, quick and minimally invasive procedure in which a laser is typically used to release a tie. A frenectomy procedure is very low-risk and can provide many benefits, including:
- Reduce fatigue, low energy, or brain fog
- Eliminate dry mouth or mouth breathing
- Reduce fatigue from sleep apnea or airway obstruction
- Decrease snoring
- Correct lisping
- End chronic neck, shoulder, or back pain
- Stop jaw pain (TMD/TMJ)
- Reduce migraines
- Stop teeth grinding
- Alleviate anxiety and depression
- Improve digestion
- Reduce the risk of periodontal diseases
All dentists, doctors, and speech therapists are able to identify a tongue tie.
Many professionals have not had the specific training to orally examine to properly look at and measure the tongue. Parents and adults are frequently told there isn't a tongue tie when in fact there is!
Tongue tie does not impact any facet of health other than breastfeeding.
As discussed above not all ties need intervention. However parents should be aware that a tongue tie can impact other areas of health at later stages and treatments may require more serious procedures:
- Ongoing colic/wind/reflux or unsettled sleep patterns
- Eating difficulties – as the tongue requires a full action to process food, infants with tongue restriction may refuse spoons, gag/choke easily, or refuse to move on from runny foods. Some may be classified aas “picky eaters”
- Dribbling/drooling – which may be prolonged and into childhood.
- Dental problems which may be severe and wide ranging due to the palate.
- Speech may be unclear due to several aspects, especially coordination
- Ongoing acid reflux/indigestion
- Restless sleeping
Tongue tie can also prevent the tongue from contacting the front of the palate. This can then promote what is called a “tongue thrust or reverse swallow rather than an adult-like swallow. This can cause an open bite, crossbite or even an overbite .It can also result in this happens when the tongue contacts the anterior portion of the jaw with exaggerated thrusts.
Adults with a tongue tie may face include:
- Jaw clicking
- TMJ pain
- Protrusion or retraction of the lower jaws
- Effects on social situations, eating out, kissing, relationships, appearance
- Dental health: a tendency to have inflamed gums, and increased need for fillings and extractions . The high or bubble palate also changes the shape of the oral cavity, which can result in hindered dental development, ill fitting teeth or too many to fit the space (ie if palate is high it will naturally make it narrower), overbite/underbite, or tongue thrust (the tongue protrudes forwards when at rest impacting on teeth)
- Acid reflux/indigestion/bloating/gas from incorrect chew/swallow mechanism and sucking in of air.
- Sleep problems
Share your Results: