"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.
Lip tie photo from www.exodontia.info
Symptoms of tongue-tie include:
- Mouth breathing
- High decay rate due to difficulty cleansing oral cavity
- Chronic neck and shoulder pain
- TMJ symptoms
- Speech difficulty
- Difficulty protruding the tongue
- Difficulty elevating the tongue
- Digestion issues, constipation
- Difficulty swallowing
- Sleep-disordered breathing
- Chronic headaches
- Postural issues