tongue tie problem

What is the Problem with a Tongue Tie?


Can you identify where the lingual frenum is in your body? This is a small band of tissue that connects from underneath your tongue to the floor of your mouth. We have several frenum throughout the human body. Sometimes, though, the lingual frenum is shorter than it needs to be. This condition, known as a tongue tie, limits the tongue’s range of motion. Nothing can be done to prevent a tongue tie – you’re born with it, or you aren’t – but this condition can and should be treated. Read on as Dr. Pamela Marzban explains the problems arising from an untreated tongue tie.

How a tongue tie affects you at different stages of life

  • Infants – Newborns and infants with a tongue tie usually have nursing problems. This may manifest as difficulty latching, feeding too frequently, failure to thrive or not bonding with the mother as they should. A tongue tie also can impact the development of the face and jaws.
  • Children – A child who has an untreated tongue tie is likely to experience issues chewing, swallowing or with the development of their speech. Socializing and maintaining good dental hygiene also may be major challenges.
  • Adolescence into adulthood – By this stage, if you’ve been living with a tongue tie for your entire life, you’ve developed negative habits to compensate for the lack of motion in your tongue. These habits may lead to nutritional deficiencies, odd eating habits, speech impediments, or even the manifestation of a severe issue such as obstructive sleep apnea or temporomandibular joint disorder. An adult with a tongue tie likely has very low self-esteem, negatively impacting their personal and professional lives.

Detection and treatment of a tongue tie

As you can see from the above breakdown of consequences, the longer you live with a tongue tie, the more problems it can cause. This is why you should have your baby examined for a restricted oral frenum, especially if your new child is showing any of the issues listed above in the section of this article on infants.

Now for the good news… if your baby does have a tongue tie, a frenectomy releases the tongue and tie and restores full range of motion. At the office of Pamela Marzban, DDS, we can release a tongue or lip tie with our precise laser. This removes the tie in a matter of seconds and does so with little discomfort; the procedure is usually completed without the need for even a local anesthetic.

Suppose a tongue tie is detected later in life, beyond the infancy stage. In that case, a course of treatment may be needed to correct any negative habits that developed unconsciously to compensate for the tongue’s limited range of motion. In these cases, myofunctional therapy can be extraordinarily beneficial.

Myofunctional therapy consists of simple exercises that re-train the muscles of the mouth, face, and tongue. This method of therapy corrects any negative habits, many of which classify as orofacial myofunctional disorders, or OMDs.

Tongue tie treatment and release in Burke, Fairfax, and Fairfax Station

Dr. Pamela Marzban, DDS, offers frenectomy services and works with a licensed orofacial myofunctional therapist (or OMT) at her office in Burke. Schedule your appointment today by calling (703) 323-8200 or contact us online.

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Craniofacial Development: From Infancy to Adult

Do you wonder why nearly every child needs orthodontics? Why are people mouth breathing and developing mouth breather faces? Why is Temporo-mandibular Dysfunction (TMD) and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) becoming a worldwide epidemic? In this book, Dr. Pamela Marzban explains why modern day faces develop incorrectly, how to identify it, and what you can do for optimum facial development for you and your child.

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