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Tongue Tie and Dental Health: Exploring the Connection

Many people have never heard of tongue tie and those that have often don’t know much about it. Tongue tie is a condition where the little piece of skin that connects the bottom of the tongue to the floor of the mouth is too short or tight, causing it to become restricted. This can be a concern for dental health as it can impact the movement and function of the tongue, leading to a variety of issues. In this article, we will explore the links between tongue tie and dental health, and what can be done to prevent, diagnose, and treat it.

Signs of Tongue Tie

Tongue tie can present itself in many ways, and can happen in a variety of levels of severity. It can be diagnosed as early as infancy, as it can cause trouble with breastfeeding in some cases. Some other signs that indicate a tongue tied baby include: difficulty moving the tongue to the back of the mouth, making noise when swallowing or eating, difficulty sticking the tongue out past the lips, and difficulty making certain speech sounds. In adults, tongue tie can present as pitted teeth at the roof of the mouth, difficulty keeping the tongue against the mouth or under the teeth, and a persistent, uncomfortable feeling of tension when attempting to speak or move the tongue.

Unpacking the Connection Between Tongue Tie and Dental Health

When it comes to tongue tie and dental health, there can be a whole variety of concerns. Having a tongue tie can lead to difficulty keeping the tongue clean between the teeth, which can lead to an increase in the risk of cavities and gum disease. Tongue tied individuals may also be at an increased risk of developing a malocclusion, a type of bite problem that involves the incorrect alignment of the upper and lower teeth.

The function of the tongue can also be impacted by tongue tie, making it difficult to properly perform various essential activities. This includes eating, swallowing, speaking, and the ever-important process of maintaining proper oral hygiene. This issue could be damaging to a person’s dental health throughout their lifetime if not treated in a timely manner.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Tongue Tie

If it is suspected that an individual may be suffering from tongue tie, a visit to a medical professional for diagnosis and treatment is in order. Doctors often review the results of an oral examination to determine if the individual has tongue tie, and to what degree. There are a variety of different treatment options available for patients with tongue tie, depending on the severity of the condition and the age of the individual.

The most common treatment for tongue tie is a simple procedure known as a frenotomy, in which the tight piece of skin is cut or divided to release the tongue. This process is typically performed very quickly and has minimal levels of discomfort with the help of local anesthesia. Once the procedure is complete, the individual will be able to move their tongue as they couldn’t before, which can have a huge positive impact on their quality of life and dental health.

Taking Action When Tongue Tie is Suspected

If it is suspected that an individual may be suffering from tongue tie, they should make an appointment to be examined by a doctor as soon as possible. Earlier diagnosis and treatment can prevent serious problems from occurring. While most cases of tongue tie in infants are mild, it is important that parents get the issue discussed with their doctor and treated as soon as possible to minimize the potential negative impact on their child’s oral health.

Those who may be experiencing symptoms of tongue tie in adulthood can take action by understanding the signs and making an appointment with their doctor to discuss this possibility. Adults experiencing signs of tongue tie should not hesitate to receive treatment, as early diagnosis and treatment can make a significant positive impact on their oral health.


The connection between tongue tie and dental health is clear, and it is important that those with tongue tie get diagnosed and treated to avoid negative impacts on their oral health. Getting a proper diagnosis and seeking treatment can prevent serious issues from occurring, and can improve an individual’s overall quality of life. With early diagnosis and treatment, the majority of individuals are able to overcome the issues caused by tongue tie and have optimal dental health.