What is a tongue tie?
A tongue tie is when the thin membrane under the tongue restricts the normal movement and function of the tongue.
It should never be diagnosed on appearance, it should be diagnosed based on function and symptoms.
It is believed to be hereditary and a result of lifestyle and diet since the agricultural revolution.
It is reported that it effects 5-10% of the population, but under reporting is suspected due to the difficulty in diagnosing and inadequate knowledge around normal tongue function.
It is usually present (and often not diagnosed) if a lip tie is present.
Symptoms correlated with Tongue Tie
* Clicking or noisy suckling during breastfeeding
* Inability to flange or maintain seal of breast
* Lip blisters
* Colic, reflux, coughing/gagging
* Poor weight gain, failure to thrive
* Snoring, loud breathing, open mouth
* Hates tummy time, or laying flat
*Torticollis, head tilt or flat head
* Inability to bond with mom
* Painful breastfeeding or mastitis
* Nipple flattening/distorted shape
* Decline in milk supply
MOMS….. if you are able to breast feed, don’t give up AND don’t endure the pain (thats not normal or OK), instead- find a practitioner near you who is specialized in frenectomies.
For babies with functional issues, I would recommend finding a provider who is experienced in tie releases.
Then, while waiting for your appointment, start stretching babies lips and tongue to prepare. And most importantly, be prepared to do all the post surgery care.
Check out this video so you know what to expect:
* Crowding teeth
*Needs braces or surgery
* Teeth grinding, TMJ
* Snoring, sleep apnes
* Speech issues
* Swallowing challenges or food aversions
*ADHD or learning challenges
Take action before the long term symptoms effect your childs ability to stay focus and learn in school, contribute to poor health and delay the time they are in braces.
Myofunctional therapy is the least invasive way to get the process started. If a tie release is needed, than the success of the surgery is increased because they learn to strengthen and use the tongue muscle before its released.
For children and teenagers with functional issues, I recommend starting myofunctional therapy as soon as possible. Schedule the frenectomy 6 weeks in, and have a few weeks post surgery. By releasing the tie and training proper movements and functions before the body finds ways to compensate, you help reduce the risk of pain, growth challenges, you speed up the time needed for braces, and you improve brain function.
* Crowded teeth or relapse of ortho
TMJ, headaches, teeth grinding/clenching
* G.I. issues
* Chronic pain
* Ringing in ears, vertigo
* Sleep apnea, Snoring, Insomnia
* Anxiety, depression, fatigue
* Chronic disease
* Cavities, gum disease, dry mouth
These symptoms are often diagnosed to many different issues/concerns/causes…. But what if it it had one root cause?
The foundation to life is Breathing and Digestion!
And a tongue tie can greatly effect your breathing and digestion, and it is why my clients get the best results at all areas of life by addressing the mouth.
For adults, a tongue tie release may change your life forever!
Eliminate chronic pain, improve digestion and improve mood, starting with myofunctional therapy to prepare you. (your tongue muscle has been held down for years, so it needs to build up strength and be taught how to move). Its a longer process for adults because we have to re-wire your brain from doing what its used to (which causes pain and problems) to teaching it a better way in order to promote good mental and emotional health.
This is why tongue ties are often not diagnosed
The patient can
* Stick out tongue
* Raise tongue
But what is not being considered?
* Floor of mouth compensation
Dental professionals, here are things to raise the red flag:
* Difficulty cleaning mandibular linguals
* Gag reflex
* Scalloped tongue
* Crowded teeth/ortho relapse
Treatment of Tongue tie
Find the right provider, technique and support team.
Not all tongue ties require the “cutting” or “lasering” of the lingual frenum (aka- the tongue tie).
Restoring function with myofunctional therapy is the number 1 consideration, and may be achieved without surgery
Please do not get a tie release without my support first.
Even (or especially) if the provider does not require myofunctional therapy
Imagine breaking your leg, and going for a run as soon as the cast is removed! You won't have the strength because those muscles have not worked for the past 6 months, you need to walk before you run!
Now- Imagine a tongue that has been restricted for years and has never moved correctly before.
If you cut the tie, it will not have strength, endurance or knowledge of function to heal properly, and might makes things worse.
This is why tongue tie releases have not been successful in the past, and why its controversial to those medical care providers who do not yet know of, or understand myofunctional therapy.
Watch the video below to self assess your tongue, and complete the answers on the form here :