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  • Carla Evans

Tongue tied?

Hi everyone,

I'm sure you've heard of babies having a tongue tie that may prevent them from feeding properly but did you know adults can have them too?

Adults can have a moderate tongue tie which restricts the movement of the tongue. For example, the tongue ideally rests in the roof of the mouth but with a restriction this can be difficult to do. This can lead to:

  • poor swallowing technique which can affect digestion

  • jaw tension

  • neck and shoulder tension

  • headaches

  • postural issues

  • teeth misalignment including teeth regressing after orthodontic treatment

  • overly high arched top palate

  • poor breathing technique

  • mouth breathing

  • dry mouth

  • oral microbiome imbalances

  • receeding gums

I first learned about tongue positioning when researching orthotropics - a slightly different type of orthodontics. Learning more about tongue ties through the Craniosacral Therapy (CST) courses, I decided to get my tongue tie assessed by Karen Leo at Evolve Manual Therapy. She is a CST practitioner and qualified in Orofacial Myotherapy (OMT) - a holistic approach to rehabilitation of mouth, jaw and throat dysfunction. Karen is able to assess both children and adults for tongue ties and other oral restrictions such as lip ties. She gives you exercises to do for a few weeks before the release is done to both stretch and strengthen the tongue and jaw muscles.

I then got my tongue and upper lip tie released (frenectomy) with dentist, Dr Nathaniel Nowicki at Smiles Are Us Park Holme. The procedure is incredibly quick. A local anaesthetic is used to numb the tongue and/or lip and then a laser is used to do the release. Due to the local anaesthetic you don't feel the laser at all and because it cauterises as it goes there is no bleeding and it is a sealed wound so you can eat and drink. (For babies a different type of laser is used and no local anaesthetic). There was some mild pain as the local anaesthetic wore off but nothing major. Eating felt like more of an effort for a few days because the tongue was moving differently in the mouth. After the release you continue to do exercises to keep stretching and strengthening the entire mouth and Karen will probably give you new exercises to do. Craniosacral therapy is perfect to have after the release to help the whole body including the cranial and facial bones reset to the new tongue!

The things I've noticed the most are how much more my tongue can move when I swallow - it's actually doing what it's supposed to do! It can also rest easily in the roof of the mouth. Interestingly I've found that my shoulders can stay down with less effort whereas previously I'd drop them but they'd creep back up towards my ears very quickly.

So all in all I've had a very positive experience and would recommend to have an assessment done if you feel this may be an issue for you.

Also, I highly recommend having the assessment done with a practitioner trained in oral restrictions. Initially I asked my usual dentist, they took a very quick look and said "Oh yes you do have a bit of one, you could get it released" and that was it. An OMT or a dentist who has done extra training will do a much more thorough assessment and recommend the right approach for you.

If you have any questions feel free to get in touch :)

Happy releasing!

Carla :)

P.S. Want to re-read a previous email but have deleted it? (accidentally of course!) Not to fear - all previous emails are available on the website blog or facebook.

P.P.S. Online bookings are available for current clients.



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