You may have heard the idiom “tongue-tied” before. Usually, it refers to being unable to speak in a particular situation. But tongue-tie isn’t just an idiom. It’s a medical condition, otherwise known as ankyloglossia affects an estimated four in one thousand people, or at least it did when the last estimates were made in the 1940s.
But while tongue-tie is easily correctable in babies, it is sometimes left alone and can cause problems in adults later on down the road. Here’s what you need to know about the presence of tongue-tie in adults.
WHAT IS TONGUE TIE?
Tongue-tie occurs when the lingual frenulum of the tongue is shorter and thicker than most, keeping the tongue more anchored to the floor of your mouth.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU HAVE TONGUE TIE?
Tongue-tie can cause a list of problems to those who have it, including difficulty eating, drinking, speaking, breathing, and even kissing.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY TONGUE IS TIED?
Do you experience difficulty sticking out your tongue beyond your bottom front teeth or touching your upper teeth? Do you struggle to move your tongue from side to side? Is your tongue heart-shaped or “notched” when you stick it out? Then you could have a tongue tie.
WHAT PROBLEMS CAN TONGUE TIE CAUSE?
In addition to trouble eating, breathing, speaking, and kissing, tongue-tie can cause many problems including difficulty sleeping and various oral health problems, including temporomandibular joint dysfunction and tongue thrust. It can also make it very difficult to maintain proper oral health because of difficulties with brushing and flossing.
It can also cause sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that causes snoring, the stopping and starting of breathing throughout the night, and overall difficulty sleeping. This can have negative reverberations throughout your waking life, too, including depression, lethargy, cognitive impairment, and the worsening of many other serious medical conditions.
WHAT CAN YOU DO IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE TONGUE TIE?
If you think you or someone you love may be suffering from tongue tie, speak to Dr. Abelar. There are surgical options available for correcting this disorder that can make a big difference in your quality of life. To discuss tongue-tie or other oral health conditions with Dr. Abelar, please schedule a consultation today.