Adult Tongue-Tie

Below is a picture of a NORMAL ( not common…. just because something may be common, doesn’t mean it’s normal) adult tongue. If you’re tongue doesn’t look like this, there’s a good chance that you’re tongue-tied and don’t even know it.

Normal Adult Lingual Frenulum

Still don’t believe me? Try this:

Place the tip of your tongue on the ridge behind your upper front teeth, you should be able to open your lower jaw and stretch the lingual frenula 1 to 1 1/2 inches. If there is restriction, the jaw will be unable to open fully while your tongue is still touching the ridge behind your teeth.

If the process of opening your jaw all the way requires that you stop touching the ridge behind the upper teeth with your tongue, your movement is restricted due to a tongue-tie.

Did you need braces as a child? Have TMJ? Have to purposefully think to breathe out of your nose?There’s a stonge possiblity it’s because due to the restriction of a tongue-tie. Read this:

“The resting tongue posture refers to how the tongue sits when not being used for talking, eating, drinking, smiling, yawning or coughing.

The tongue is meant to support the palate (the roof of your mouth). In the correct posture, the tip of the tongue touches the ridge behind the upper front teeth but not the teeth themselves. The rest of it is arched across the top of the mouth, in contact with the palate and contained within the teeth. When tongue forces spread across the occlusal surfaces of the teeth (their biting surfaces), the tongue will often exhibit a ridge of irritated tissue along the sides. If the tongue is pushing into the teeth, laterally, scalloping edges will be apparent along the sides.

There are many variations of incorrect tongue posture, but all cause stress within the orofacial mechanism. Just as strong, consistent winds compel trees on a bluff to grow at a distinct angle, the consistent pressures from the tongue set against the teeth may play a role in causing conditions such as an open dental bite, gum disease and bone loss, jaw joint breakdown and TMD, recurrent headaches and upper body tension, speech problems, drooling and an altered facial appearance.

Every day, each of us swallows hundreds and hundreds of times – and this isn’t even counting the swallows we take when we eat, drink or are anxious. Each exerts a small amount of pressure. By design, this pressure should be spread evenly over the palate and contained within the palatal arch. In a dysfunctional swallow, there may be inappropriate pressures exerted against or between the teeth.

non-restrictive lingual frenulum (meaning no tongue-tie is present) is needed to have a proper resting tongue posture and swallowing pattern, sufficient tongue movement for speech and to prevent undue pressure against the dentition. A restrictive frenulum (tongue-tie) may cause concern and often requires surgery. If the maxillary and mandibular labial frenula (upper and lower lip frenulum) are restrictive, stripping of the periodontal tissue or spacing between the upper anterior teeth is possible. You might also see a shortening of the upper lip or creasing of the lower lip.”

The above information is from a Orofacial Myologist website. I added the information contained within the parentheses to clarify the medical terminology.

I’m writing this post with the purpose of raising awareness for tongue-ties. The information listed above are only a few propblems caused by tongue-tie. I haven’t even gotten into the digestion problems.

Are you tongue-tied? Just because something may be common, doesn’t make it normal. Maybe you are missing tongue-ties in babies because you are tongue-tied as well. Something to think about.

Below is an amazing testimonial video from a middle-aged lady who had her tongue-tie released. It’s so sad that so many of us may be suffering and struggling without even knowing it. We don’t realize it simply because it is all we have ever known.

5 Changes Aftermy Frenectomy giving a personal testimony of what differences she experienced after having her tongue-tie revised.

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12 responses

  1. i never thought about this until i read this post and realized that I may suffer from the same thing that you are speaking of. I have to think to breath out of my nose because it doesn’t come as a natural movement for me and my tongue won’t go all the way to the roof of my mouth when i open my jaw. It answers a lot of questions for me! Thanks so much!!

  2. This was eye-opening for me! I am definitely interested in information about ties effecting digestion and nutrient absorption.
    I have a tongue tie, along with a lot of vitamin and mineral deficiencies, gluten intolerance, and endocrine problems (which I know can be exacerbated by digestion issues).
    Do you have a post about adult ties effecting digestion, or would you be willing to write one? 🙂

    • Thank you for your kind words! I would love to write a post. Unfortunately my laptop has been down for a long time now. It is difficult to find a computer to get on now. I rarely am able to access the blog because of it. I have considered Vlogging in the meantime. Perhaps I will do that. Thank you for your encouragement!

  3. I had my tongue tie “corrected” by an ENT twice. The first time, there was some improvement, but a lot of regrowth and scar tissue in the frenulum remnants that bound my tongue again. It was better than before, but only by a bit.

    The second time, she cut into the muscle of my tongue itself–she botched the operation. I was left with a big fat wad of scar tissue in place of my frenulum, which made it difficult to talk, and difficult to breathe and eat.

    Eventually I saw an oral surgeon who fixed (as best he could) the ENT’s hackjob with laser surgery.

    • That’s terrible!!! I am so sorry this happened to you! It is very important to see an experienced and knowledgeable provider. Unfortunately, this is very difficult to judge until the damage has already been done.

      My husband had his tongue-tie revised by Dr. Myers. He did an excellent job! However he still had a considerable amount of adhesion and re-attachment. However, when I spoke to Dr. Myers in mid-August, he had just returned from The Tongue-Tie Summit. There he learned of a new breakthrough in preventing re-attachment in adults!

      It is a series of exercises that lift the tongue out of hte bottom of the mouth. I have little knowledge of this so far. However, my husband does plan to have his tongue revised again and see the therapist to learn the exercises to prevent tongue-tie.

  4. I’m 17 and tongue-tied. I have getting this surgery in about a month, along with getting my wisdom teeth removed. I didn’t know if it would be difficult to talk or what not. I was offered to get my tongue ‘clipped’ when i was a baby but my dad, being tongue-tied also refused to let me or my sister get the short operation. He is deceased now but yeah. I was just wondering what would happen afterward. Would it be hard to talk or eat?

  5. Hello. I want to know how much it could cost because I want to have mine removed. Do you think being tongue tied affects speech? Am 20 and sometimes when I talk too fast it becomes difficult to understand me.I hate this. And I have a gap between my two front upper teeth. Is this as a result of the tongue tie?

    Thank you.

    • It depends on the provider. Dr Myers here in Jacksonville, FL charges $500 for both tongue and lip revisions (without insurance). You will also want to budget for pain remedies and CST.

  6. Hi
    I’ve got a question?
    I’m just about to turn 31 and I’ve battled with speech problems early on which took extensive speech therapy as a child just to get me through primary school.
    This has since followed me around to this day, although it’s only mild in the greater scheme of things it is noticeable, and gets brought up a lot.
    Would getting this rectified enable me to undertake corrective speech therapy or would it be to difficult to undo the damage?
    Any information or testimonials from anyone in the same position would be very much appreciated.

    • It is very possible that a restrictive frenulum (aka tongue tie) is responsible for your speech struggles. Particularly if the sounds are “R” and “L.” My husband was able to talk much more easily once he had his tongue-tie released. He also had many other issues disappear, such as sleep apnea.

      Getting a tongue-tie release is often a lot more involved that just the procedure itself. Exercises and stretches are needed to ensure the wound helps open, often body work is needed to soften soft tissues in the mouth to achieve the full desired results.

      As always, Jennifer Tow is brillant and can help you. I know she has a program specifically for adults that I have heard good things about. Its also over Skype so location is not as issue. However, depending on where you live, finding a provider to do the frenectomy may. It is common that people have to travel as there are not very many who are properly trained as of yet.

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