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Tongue Tie
Tethered Oral Tissues (TOTS)

So, what is a tongue-tie or ankyloglossia…
The tongue is attached to the floor of the mouth with a membranous tissue.  Sometimes it is short and the tongue will be restricted.  A tongue-tie may be noticed at birth if the newborn has difficulties with breastfeeding.   This is a genetic trait passed down from the parent to the child.  If the tongue is not able to move freely there is a potential for orofacial myofunctional disorders.  This is a photo of a week-old infant with a tongue-tie whose father also was born with a tongue-tie.  This baby did have difficulties with breastfeeding and required a quick procedure to “release” the tongue-tie.

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If a tongue-tie is not addressed early

in life the following issues may develop:

  • Delays or lack of success in speech therapy

  • Swallowing patterns, low tongue posture, difficulty with bolus formation

  • Orofacial growth and development-narrow, vaulted palate

  • Ineffective oral cleansing

  • Airway integrity and potential sleep apnea

  • Difficulty wearing dentures

  • Difficulty playing some wind instruments


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"I can swallow pills now."

Our daughter had a tongue tie.  She needed therapy before and after the release. She was having trouble with speech, eating, breathing and sleeping. 

"C" said "I came to Marge to get this tongue released, so I would not have to repeat what I was saying over and over."  "People can understand me now.  I can chew and  swallow correctly.  Marge was so nice, calm and clear. She always helped me when I got things wrong.  She can be funny and fun - an actual person.  I will miss her.  Thank you"                               

Family "B"

A thorough assessment is made to evaluate the muscle function impacted by the movement of the tongue and the ability of the tongue to stretch and touch the roof of the mouth.  If it is restricted a small surgical procedure may be needed called a frenectomy.  Orofacial myologists will coordinate the necessary exercises with your dentist or oral surgeon. It is important that a patient perform the necessary exercises and stretching before and after the procedure.  The muscles need neuromuscular education for proper movement and adequate function

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