Adult Tongue Ties

adult tongue tieAnkyloglossia (the clinical term for a tongue tie) occurs in someone from birth. This condition also is known as a restricted lingual frenum, which means the band of tissue that connects the bottom of the tongue to the floor of the mouth is too short. This restriction impedes range of motion and makes it impossible for the tongue to function as it should. Currently, in the majority of cases, a tongue tie is repaired when the individual is in infancy or a small child. However, many individuals still live with a tongue tie into adulthood. This page contains information on the consequences of a tongue tie for adults, as well as how the team at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry can help.

What issues can a tongue tie cause in adults?

  • Forward head posture
  • Tension in the cervical vertebrae, neck and/or shoulders
  • Bruxism (the clinical term for teeth grinding)
  • Jaw pain
  • Difficulty chewing and swallowing
  • A speech impediment
  • Frequent dry mouth, especially during or after speaking
  • Mumbling or speaking low
  • Gagging when swallowing
  • Frequent digestive issues, including stomach aches and constipation
  • Mouth breathing, when awake or asleep
  • The development of a sleep breathing disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea
  • Frequent throat irritation or sinus congestion

How does a tongue tie affect adults?

As mentioned earlier, a tongue tie is present from birth and it impacts the unique effectiveness of the tongue. The longer that a person lives with an undiagnosed tongue tie, the more issues it can cause. These issues multiple because, unconsciously, someone with a tongue tie develops negative habits due to the limited range of motion in the tongue. Proper development and movement of the tongue helps with eating, speech and breathing.

An adult with an undiagnosed tongue tie also may have a narrow face or an underdeveloped midface. This is because the limits in the range of motion of the tongue lead to narrower dental arches or a high upper palate. This can create what is sometimes known as long face syndrome.

Treating a tongue tie in adults

No matter what your age, you can have a tongue tie treated by having it released through a functional frenuloplasty. For maximum convenience and effectiveness, Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry performs this procedure using our LightScalpel laser. This precise dental laser vaporizes the target area of tissue, severing the tongue tie and restoring full range of motion. We will apply a topical anesthesia first to ensure you will not feel any pain, and the use of the laser minimizes any bleeding or risk of infection. Any lingering discomfort typically subsides within a couple of weeks.

Releasing the tongue tie is just part of the process of restoring full function. An adult with a tongue tie has lived for many years with the reduced range of motion in the tongue, and consequently developed multiple negative habits in an attempt to compensate for the impeded movement. This is why we prescribe a course of myofunctional therapy. This entails performing a series of simple exercises that re-educate the muscles of the face and mouth, including the tongue, and eliminate those negative habits that have formed through the years.

Treating tongue ties for adults in Los Gatos, Scotts Valley and Santa Cruz in California

You don’t have to live the rest of your life dealing with a tongue tie and the related effects. Schedule a consultation at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry today by calling (831) 438-4411 or completing our online contact form.