Suffering from the Effects of Tongue - Tie?
Updated: May 12
Tongue-Tie and its Effects on you!
What is a Tongue-Tie, Anyway?
The medical term for a tongue-tie is "Ankyloglossia". The simple definition of a tongue-tie is a tight string of tissue under the tongue that can prevent the tongue from functioning properly.
Many of my adult patients during the consultation will tell me I've been doing just fine with my tongue-tie even with many other tongue-tied related symptoms impacting their quality of life. Such as the following:
An immobile sternum.
Tightness around the base of the skull
Tension in Front of the Neck
Tension in the bone and cartilage on the top of the throat is needed for correct swallowing
Tightness in the muscles under the jaw. This can manifest as a straight line between the point of the chin and the throat, under the jaw. This can pull the jaw downwards and backward, leading to TMJ issues.
Tightness in the floor of the mouth
Tightness in jaw muscles of the cheek
Speech and Breathing Issues
Issues with a voice that can impact singing or attaining adult male voice for teens
What does a tongue-tie do?
The tongue is a complex organ composed of 8 muscles that are involved in feeding, breathing, speaking, sleep, posture, and many other essential functions.
Ideal Tongue Function and muscle rest posture provide a mold for proper growth and development of dental arches and facial/airway development.
Improper function of the tongue leads to the following problems:
Airway If the tongue is anchored or tethered too tightly to the floor of the mouth, movement and function are restricted. This can be the cause of snoring, sleep apnea, gagging, and vocal sounds.
Chewing Without proper movement and function, the tongue cannot move food from side to side for sufficient chewing for complete digestion.
Cleaning of the Mouth Freedom and movement is needed for the tongue to clean each and every tooth in the mouth. If it can’t reach the posterior molars, 3rds included, it could be tethered.
Facial Development When not using our nasal passages to breathe the mid-face will not develop or grow normally.
Swallowing - the tongue assists in swallowing 1200-2000 times per day. Having a reverse swallow pattern causes tension to the jaw. Restricted to swallowing via tongue-tie does not allow saliva or food to be chewed completely and swallowed normally. The digestive system needs the salivary enzymes to mix with chewed food for complete digestion.
Speech – The tongue has several jobs. Clarity of speech is definitely an essential one. The tongue requires the freedom to move and reach the palate to sound out letters, words, phrases. If it cannot perform as nature intended then lisping and other disorders can occur. Test yourself – place your tongue tip below your lower anterior teeth, push and hold, now try to talk. Can’t do it right! When restricted the tongue can’t perform as it was intended to do.
Open Mouth Posture This is also called mouth breathing. Mouth breathing allows infections to enter the body easily since there is no filter via the oral cavity. Every cell in the body is affected by mouth breathing due to the lack of essential oxygen. Other symptoms of mouth breathing can include snoring, sleep apnea, headaches, migraines, hypertension, TMD – pain, dark circles under eyes, and ear and sinus infections.
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