Tongue tie, also known as ankyloglossia, is a condition that affects many people, both children and adults. It occurs when the frenulum or frenum, the tissue that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth, is too tight, short or thick. This can result in difficulty with speech, swallowing, breastfeeding, and other oral functions, even including how the tongue sits at rest which impacts facial development. However, what many people do not realize is that tongue tie can also be interconnected with the fascia throughout the body.
Fascia is the connective tissue that surrounds and supports muscles, organs, and other structures in the body. It is a complex web-like structure that has been described as a continuous matrix, connecting every part of the body to every other part. Fascia plays a crucial role in maintaining posture, movement, and overall health. It is also involved in the transmission of force and movement throughout the body.
The tongue is connected to the rest of the body via fascial connections. These connections can be seen throughout the body, particularly in the head, neck, and shoulders. When the tongue is restricted by a tight or short frenulum, it can affect the fascia throughout the body, leading to a range of symptoms and issues. For example, tongue tie can contribute to a forward head posture, which is a common postural imbalance that can lead to neck pain, headaches, and other issues. The tongue is connected to the hyoid bone, and in turn connected to the rest of the neck and head via fascial connections. When the tongue is restricted, it can pull on the hyoid bone, contributing to a forward head posture.
Tongue tie can also affect breathing and sleep patterns. When the tongue is restricted, it can impede the ability to breathe properly through the nose. This can lead to mouth breathing, which can contribute to a range of health issues, including sleep apnea, snoring, and even chronic fatigue. This is because the tongue is connected to the diaphragm via fascial connections. When the tongue is restricted, it can affect the movement and function of the diaphragm, which can impact breathing patterns and even pelvic floor health.
Furthermore, tongue tie can also affect the jaw and facial muscles. When the tongue is restricted, it can affect the position and movement of the jaw, leading to issues such as TMJ dysfunction, teeth grinding, and facial tension. This is because the tongue is connected to the mandible, or jawbone, via fascial connections. When the tongue is restricted, it can pull on the mandible, contributing to these issues. A restricted tongue can affect fascial connections throughout the body, leading to a range of symptoms and issues. It is important to recognize the potential impact of tongue tie on fascia and to seek appropriate treatment, such as a frenectomy, to address this issue. By addressing tongue tie and its impact on fascia, individuals can improve their overall health and well-being.
Please note, a frenectomy is not a quick fix. For best results, myofunctional therapy is indicated first. Since compensations have been made since birth, many habits and functions will need to be redirected through therapy to have lasting results and body work to address the fascia is necessary as well. Just because a tongue tie gets released, doesn’t always mean that the muscles know how to automatically operate properly. And when looking at the whole body and realizing the interconnectedness of the fascia to the ties, one can see how important it can be to prepare the body for such a change.
My free consultation includes evaluation of tongue and lip ties. Once we have worked together to improve muscle function, we can re-evaluate the need for a release. The frenum itself cannot stretch as it is made up of collagen, but the fascia around it can be impacted through myofunctional therapy. A quick clip can do more harm than good when not taking fascia into account. This is why myofunctional therapy before and after the procedure are so crucial. Compare it to knee surgery. Pre-hab and re-hab are very important pieces of a successful procedure. It is the same with tongue tie.
If you would like to be evaluated for tongue/lip/buccal ties, please schedule your free consultation at www.myofunctionaltherapyofkansas.com