A tongue tie (also called ankyloglossia) occurs when the band of tissue that attaches the blade of the tongue to the floor of the mouth (the frenum) is too tight or restricted.
A person who has a tongue tie often:
Does not swallow correctly
Has difficulty with oral hygiene
Cannot elevate the tongue for all speech sounds and has articulation difficulties
Can develop cranio-facial problems. The tongue should be resting on the hard palate, because this tongue posture helps develop the palate correctly. Without the tongue on the hard palate, the palate bone can grow vertically into the sinus cavity, creating many different issues.
Depending on the severity of the tongue tie, it can be corrected using laser surgery in your dentist’s office or may require the services of an oral surgeon. After surgery, a person who had a tongue tie will need orofacial myology therapy (tongue muscle therapy) to develop the ability to move the tongue for normal articulation and swallowing.
If you or your dentist notice a tongue tie, it should be corrected. Fortunately, correction is usually quite effective and is often covered by insurance. At Cornerstone Speech, we offer expert speech pathologists specially trained in orofacial myology, which deals with muscle postures of the mouth.