Tongue Ties

"The ability to stick out the tongue does not rule out a tongue-tie."


What exactly is a tongue tie?

Everyone has a frenulum. Our frenulum connects our tongue to the floor of the mouth. Some refer to this frenulum as a 'tiny string'. As myofunctional therapists, we know the harmful effects this 'tiny string' can have on the rest of the body.  A lingual restriction, or tongue-tie, can prevent the tongue from moving functionally or resting in the correct position in the roof of our mouths.  It is literally like having something holding your tongue down and stopping it from moving, like being tied up.  This is why it is called a tongue tie. This restricted mobility can cause a myriad of symptoms as we have fascia that connects from our head all the way down to our toes. Do you have a history of clenching/grinding your teeth, snoring, headaches, jaw pain, speech issues, malocclusion, chronic neck and shoulder tension, mouth breathing? These are just some of the symptoms that someone can have with a possible tongue tie.

What is correct tongue posture and why does it matter?

When we discuss correct tongue rest posture it means our tongues being in the roof of the mouth with the tip, middle, and back of the tongue lightly suctioned in the palate.  The tongue should fit up there nicely without the sides splayed out over on our teeth.  When there is a tongue tie, or restriction present, this can literally prevent the tongue from being able to reach up there.  This is a HUGE problem because our tongue serves as a foundation for the growth of our jaws. It helps the jaw grow wide and forward.  We also need to be able to get our tongues up in order to speak, swallow and breathe properly.  If we have a tie, we may never be or have been able to do that.  With a tongue-tie, our tongue posture drops and rests low in the floor of our mouth. That is also why tongue-tie patients are usually mouth breathers.
At Myoair, we provide a functional tethered oral tissues assessment. Aside from a tongue tie, we also have other frenae in our mouths- labial (lip) frenae and buccal (cheek) frenae. A lip or buccal tie may also wreak havoc and cause oral dysfunction. If the decision is made that you or your child need this restriction released, this procedure is called a frenectomy. We will work collaboratively with your release provider to provide optimal results. This involves pre and post-surgical therapy with a myofunctional therapist. Pre-surgical therapy is necessary to prep the tissues and get it ready for the release procedure. It starts with stretches and working to optimize the current function of the muscles.  Post-surgical therapy assists in active wound management.  This also involves stretching and exercises taught and supervised to prevents re-attachment of the tissue so that we end up with the mobility we should have had to start with.  At this point, it is usually recommended to begin some kind of myofunctional therapy program to help teach the newly mobile tongue proper posture and function. Remember, that if something is tied down your entire life, just setting it free does not mean it now knows how to function and behave on its own.  It needs to be trained through proper exercises. 
Lip tie photo from

Symptoms of tongue-tie include:
  • Mouth breathing
  • High decay rate due to difficulty cleansing oral cavity
  • Chronic neck and shoulder pain
  • Bruxism
  • TMJ symptoms
  • Speech difficulty
  • Difficulty protruding the tongue
  • Difficulty elevating the tongue
  • Digestion issues, constipation
  • GERD
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sleep-disordered breathing
  • ADHD
  • Chronic headaches
  • Postural issues