The Problem with an Untreated Tongue Tie

problem with untreated tongue tieMiami and Coral Gables, FL 

Ankyloglossia, known as tongue-tie, is often untreated in children. Although a tongue-tie may seem like no big deal as long as the child can talk, eat, and breathe, many health consequences could linger into adulthood. You might be surprised at the effects of an untreated tongue-tie.

When adults have lived decades with a tongue-tie, their bodies adapt in ways that impact their health.

Here are some of the secondary adaptations an adult with an untreated tongue-tie may experience.

  • Immobile sternum – The muscles of the mouth and jaw directly relate to the sternum. Since a tongue-tie restricts the tongue’s movement, the orofacial muscles do not function properly, resulting in altered breathing patterns, lung restrictions, and thoracic pain.
  • Muscle tightness – The muscles at the base of the skull or upper neck may become stiff, which usually results in chronic headaches, neck pain or swallowing difficulties.
  • Tension – In the front of the neck or throat area, muscles and cartilage may become tense, affecting speech. It can also radiate tension down to the stomach, affecting areas in between that may result in acid reflux, heartburn, or even Hiatal hernias.
  • TMJ – Since the lower jaw muscles are pulled downwards and backward, which results in TMJ issues such as pain, clicking or popping in the jaw joints. TMJ pain often can radiate throughout the neck, and back, causing widespread pain throughout the body. Not to mention, it can make eating difficult and painful.
  • Speech problems and breathing issues – Poor diaphragm mechanics, and mouth breathing are likely to occur in an adult with an untreated tongue-tie. 

To treat these issues, a simple frenectomy procedure can be performed as an out-patient procedure at the dentist’s office. This procedure releases the restriction of the tongue so that it can move and function, as it should. Frenectomies are safe and effective to perform, even on infants, to prevent secondary adaptations later in life. Myofunctional therapy is also used afterward to help retrain the oral muscles with prescribed exercises and stretches of the tongue and mouth.  

If you opt to have the frenectomy, any of the above symptoms may diminish. Tongue-tie will not go away on its own and needs to be corrected. To schedule a consultation, contact the office of Miami Designer Smiles by calling (305) 595-4616. We welcome patients in Coral Gables and Miami, Florida.