What Causes Tongue-Tie?

Do you have a limited range of motion for your tongue? If so, you might find it challenging to eat, speak, or even breathe. The tongue’s ability to move freely can affect a person’s life much more than one might expect. If you’re feeling tongue-tied, you’ve probably felt that way for a while. You may think free range of motion seems like a distant goalpost but with the right treatment plan, it can be a reality for you sooner than you might think.

What Is Tongue-Tie & What Causes Tongue-Tie?

What causes tongue-tie? Tongue-tie is caused by an unusually short, thick, or tight lingual frenulum. The lingual frenulum is the band of tissue that connects the bottom of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. Because it’s a structural development, this condition is something people are born with.

  • Difficulty lifting the tongue or moving the tongue from side to side
  • Trouble sticking the tongue out past the lower front teeth
  • A tongue that appears notched or heart-shaped when stuck out

How Does Tongue-Tie Effect People?

Having this tightened band of tissue anchoring your tongue to the floor of your mouth can cause several issues. For example, tongue mobility is needed for functions such as:

  • Optimal speech
  • Chewing
  • Swallowing
  • Oral hygiene
  • Breathing
  • Development of the jaw and airway

Beyond the physical limitations tongue-tie can leave someone with, it can also affect behavioral habits too. One of the most critical habits tongue-tie can influence is a person’s susceptibility to mouth breathing. This subconscious preference away from nasal breathing can also encourage snoring or obstructive sleep apnea.

Untethering the Tongue

Helping people realize how much easier tasks can be without the hindrance of tongue-tie begins with a frenuloplasty and is often coupled with myofunctional therapy and sometimes with physical therapy. These post-treatment practices can help to retrain patients’ optimal muscle posture. The tongue is one of the most critical organs in the body. It has the ability to regulate and shape orofacial structure and musculature. If dysfunctional, it can contribute to chronic stress on the other muscles of the head and neck making treatment even more essential.

Live Untied

Tongue-tie can disrupt a person’s ability to do normal everyday functions that many of us take for granted. If you or your child was born with a short, motion-impairing lingual frenulum, reach out to our office at (843) 410-0345 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Wallace today.While patients may experience some mild swelling, pain, or discomfort while their tongue heals resolution can positively affect their lives for years to come.

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