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  • Writer's pictureKaryn Kasvin RDH

What is a Tongue- tie ? Tethered Oral Tissue and Myofunctional Therapy: 

Updated: Apr 9, 2020

A tongue tie used to be thought of as something that only affected babies and breast-feeding. but modern medicine an dentistry is finding that  the problems associated with a tongue -tie can affect both children and adults of all ages.  

Releasing a tongue tie is now an integral part of achieving optimal oral and dental health.  A tongue-te is also known as a restricted lingual frenum or a tethered oral tissue (TOT) and can prevent you or your child from achieving the goals of myo functional therapy.    

The frenum is the line of band of tissue under the tongue - we all have one .  In some people however , the frenum is too tight or too short and restricts the movement of the tongue ( either the back of the tongue from elevating and/or the tip of the tongue from full range of motion).  Your tongue should fill up the entire roof of your mouth , when it does it provides an internal support structure for the upper jaw.   If your tongue is in the right place, your face will develop properly allowing room for your teeth to come in straight. A tongue tie   prevents it from resting in the correct place and functioning in the way it was designed . Lips and cheeks can be tied as well further affecting  your ability to keep the mouth closed.   People who are tongue tied often mouth breathing .  Chronic jaw pain facial pain, posture issues clenching grinding along with dental and orthodontic issues  are common in people with tongue-ties .   Studies show that children who are tongue-tied are more likely to develop sleep apnea and airway issues.   Tethered oral tissue including lip and cheek ties can also have an affect on the bodies fascial system resulting in posture, breathing and other  far reaching functional problems.  Assessing and addressing tension in the fascia of the body is also important before making the decision to have a surgical or laser release .

There’s more to treating a tongue lip or cheek tie than just releasing it,   Myofunctional therapy and body work are critical before and after the procedure for optimal success.    

 It is never too late to have tethered oral tissue released and to benefit from myofunctional therapy.  The good news is treatment is relatively simple and the results are life changing . 

Thanks to Sarah Hornsby at for inspiring this information.  

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