Did you know in many countries it’s a national law that every child be examined for a tongue-tie? Tongue-ties can lead to neck and back pain, headaches, teeth grinding, speech, digestive problems, crooked teeth, snoring, sleep apnea, and other issues.
A tongue tie is simply tethered oral tissues (frenulum). While everyone has a frenulum, some are unusually short, thick, and/or tight which can result in many health risks if left untreated.
Tongue ties cause the development of a high, narrow roof of mouth, with the nasal area following suit causing airway restrictions and mouth breathing.
The earlier a tongue tie is identified and treated the better. In infants, tongue ties can results in feeding issues and overall face, mouth, and airway development. If a tongue tie is detected, a frenectomy can be done right here in the office to release the tie. It is a relatively simple outpatient procedure.
Watch this video by The Breathe Institute for more information on tongue ties and the frenectomy process.
Doesn’t everyone’s tongues look like this?
Everyone has frenulum attachment under their tongue, and they do look similar, however under the surface these tethers can be very inhibitory to the individual. That is why a thorough assessment and diagnosis is necessary to determine if a tongue tie release is necessary. For those whom it is necessary, it can be life changing as a tethered tongue can cause or play a part in a myriad of symptoms such as head, neck and shoulder pain, swallowing issues, speech issues, headaches, TMJ dysfunction, and posture issues. Inhibitory tongue ties are very real and millions of people suffer from the symptoms without even knowing the cause. When we release the tongue tie, our patients experience immediate relief almost 100% of the time, while they are still in the chair!
My daughter was diagnosed with a tongue tie at 16 when we switched dentists. Why wasn’t it discovered beforehand?
This is not something that is taught in dental school, so many dentists are not even trained to look for this. Most pediatricians don’t look for it as well. I train dentists all over the country and this is something that we teach them to look for. They don’t all choose to treat tongue ties, but if they can identify and diagnose it and they realize the health ramifications associated with it then they can refer to have it treated.