A tethered/restricted tongue (tongue-tied) = Inability to put tongue to roof of mouth comfortably.
The tongue is a strong muscle which normally rests in the roof of the mouth. When the tongue is restricted from being freely movable, it cannot lie in the palate, thus preventing normal growth and development of the upper jaw.
Signs of a possible tongue tie
- History of difficulty breast feeding
- Difficulty with “s” and/or “r” sounds Inability of child to put tongue to roof of mouth comfortably
- A dental crossbite is a sign that the tongue is not resting in the roof of the mouth. If not treated early, a small upper jaw may lead to teeth stuck in the roof of the mouth and a compromised airway.
What are frenums?
Frenums are pieces of tissue that connect the lips, cheeks, tongue to the insides of our mouth. A frenectomy is the removal of the frenum tissue. Removal of this tissue is necessary when it restricts a movement that is important for proper function, growth and development. Removal of the restrictive lip or tongue tie tissue may be recommended when it:
- prevents a baby from being able to breastfeed,
- prevents a young child’s proper growth and development of his/her jaws
- causes gum recession
- prevents an individual from speaking properly
- prevents an individual from swallowing properly.
Another risk of having a restricted tongue, or tongue tie is that the tongue cannot physically make it to the palate, its home. The tongue therefore cannot function like the natural retainer of jaw width, resulting in narrowing of the jaws. The incorrect posture of the tongue causes jaw instability. It can also cause other muscles of the face and neck to be recruited in dysfunction. This can lead to TMJ problems., airway problems and spiral into a number of other related health problems.