What Is A Tongue Tie? What Causes It?

Dr. Tad Morgan can provide much-needed treatment for this common condition.


What Is A Tongue Tie? What Causes It?

A common phrase defines anyone who is having trouble putting words together as being “tongue tied.” But did you know that a tongue tie is an actual medical condition that is related to a structural defect in the mouth? This page explores what tongue tie is, what causes it, and how treatment from a qualified dentist in Bullard can help.

Tongue Tie Definition

The lingual frenulum is a piece of tissue that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth. In most people, the frenulum allows the tongue to have a free range of motion. In individuals with a tongue tie, however, that piece of tissue is too short or thick to allow the tongue to move as it should.

As a child grows, an untreated tongue tie may lead to speech difficulties and oral myofunctional disorders, such as tongue thrust. Adults with tongue tie may habitually breathe through their mouth, suffer from dental problems, and find it challenging to eat certain textures.

What Causes Tongue Tie?

In most fetuses, the lingual frenulum separates before birth so the baby’s tongue can move freely. In some cases, this separation does not occur, thus leading to a tongue tie. There are no specific risk factors for a tongue tie, although some research indicates that genetic factors are involved because tongue tie tends to run in families. It has also been noted that a tongue tie occurs more frequently in boys than in girls.

There have even been studies that relate tongue tie to a folic acid deficiency in mothers. Regardless of whether a lack of folic acid is a specific cause of a tongue tie, it remains an important nutrient for pregnant women who want to give their baby the best possible start in life.

Treating Tongue Tie

The most common treatment for a tongue tie is a functional frenuloplasty. Dr. Tad Morgan uses the scissors and sutures technique for the simple procedure, which minimizes bleeding and pain. Older individuals who undergo a frenectomy may need to have oral myofunctional therapy afterward to help them learn how to use their tongue properly.

If you suspect that you or your child is suffering from a tongue tie in Bullard, contact our team today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Morgan.

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Learn the Facts About this Common Issue

Tongue tie is a common issue for children. It is what happens when the piece of skin connecting the tongue to the floor of the mouth is too restrictive, blocking its proper range of motion. Tongue tie can cause a host of issues, ranging from irritability to poor nutrition, delayed growth, and more. Fortunately, Dr. Tad Morgan can provide much-needed treatment for this common condition. Keep reading to learn how to recognize symptoms of tongue tie and how Dr. Morgan can help!

Children’s Tongue Tie Symptoms

Tongue tie in Bullard may not become apparent until your child becomes older. Watching out for the warning signs of tongue tie can help you identify the issue sooner rather than later.

Some of the common symptoms of tongue tie for children include:

  • Slow weight gain
  • Inability to extend the tongue beyond the lips or cannot move it side to side
  • Gagging, choking, or vomiting in response to eating
  • Food aversions (for example, an aversion to solid foods)
  • Speech problems
  • Mouth breathing
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Oral health problems, such as cavities or bad breath
  • Sleep apnea and/or sinus problems
  • Behavioral problems
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Difficulty maintaining proper posture
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Food gets trapped in the palate or next to the gums
  • A heart-shaped tongue

Symptoms of Tongue Tie in Adults

Sometimes, tongue tie in East Texas goes undetected and/or untreated until a person reaches adulthood. Signs and symptoms of tongue tie in adults include:

  • Dental health problems, such as bad breath, cavities, and gum disease
  • Choking on liquids
  • Neck, back, and facial pain
  • A heart-shaped tongue
  • Pain or difficulty when kissing
  • Speech problems when tired or after drinking a small amount of alcohol
  • Everyday speech problems when talking quickly, loudly, or softly
  • Pain or clicking in the jaw
  • Restricted range of tongue movement
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Food gets trapped in the palate or next to the gums
  • Trouble eating certain textures
  • Digestive problems
  • Difficulty opening mouth wide
  • Mouth breathing

Treatment for Tongue Tie

If you or your child experience any of the above symptoms of tongue tie, do not hesitate to get in touch with our office. Tongue tie division, or a frenectomy, is a procedure that loosens the restrictive tissue to allow for full range of motion. Using a soft tissue laser, Dr. Morgan can perform this procedure with maximum efficiency and minimal discomfort. Unlike traditional procedures that call for a scalpel and sutures, this method reduces bleeding and does not require stitches.

Adults who receive treatment for tongue tie will notice an improvement in their eating, breathing, and speaking. If you undergo a frenectomy, it may take a bit of time for you to learn how to use your unrestricted tongue in the best way. We can help you via myofunctional therapy.

Unparalleled Qualifications and Comprehensive Care

Tongue tie can affect one’s dental and facial development, and it can cause problems well into the later stages of life. Receiving treatment for tongue tie is important! But whom should you choose to provide tongue tie treatment? Do not simply pick any doctor who advertises that they treat tongue tie. Take your time to do some research so you can find someone who is truly qualified to provide comprehensive, effective treatment.

Dr. Tad Morgan and our team have a keen interest in tongue tie and in helping our patients find relief from it.  As you will discover on this page, we are your best choice for treating tongue tie in East Texas. In fact, Dr. Morgan is one of only four providers who is qualified to perform the high level of tongue tie treatment that is available in our practice. He is experienced in helping his patients enjoy a functional and healthy mouth. He even started practicing once a month in Dallas to allow more patients to receive his quality care because Texas is one of the few states where patients can even get these types of treatments.

The Breathe Institute

The Breathe Institute is an organization that promotes healthier breathing through a range of services. Its affiliates address a range of structural and behavioral issues that can hinder people’s breathing and thus dramatically affect the quality of their sleep and their overall quality of life. Tongue tie is one such issue. As an Affiliate of the Breathe Institute, Dr. Morgan works alongside other professionals to advance awareness and treatment of disorders that affect the way people breathe.

The Breathe Institute is headquartered in California, but their Affiliates and Ambassadors form a larger network. Dr. Morgan is proud to be able to apply the Institute’s principles to help patients in East Texas.

A Multidisciplinary Approach

Many people make the mistake of thinking that treating tongue tie is as simple as performing a frenectomy, a short procedure that loosens the tissue that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth. In most cases, however, successfully treating tongue tie is more complex. It often requires that patients undergo myofunctional therapy.

Myofunctional therapy trains patients to use their tongue properly and keep it in its correct resting position. When this therapy is performed both before and after a frenectomy, it enables patients to truly experience freedom from the symptoms and complications of tongue tie. Our practice has an in-house myofunctional therapist who can help patients master the use of their tongue and thus enjoy fewer speech problems, easier breathing, and more.

Gain Freedom from Tongue Tie and Its Symptoms

Some individuals are under the impression that treating tongue tie is as simple as performing a frenectomy. However, because tongue tie hinders proper function of the mouth and tongue, addressing this condition becomes, not just a one-step treatment, but a multi-stage process wherein the tongue must be trained to work as it should. Let’s discuss how Dr. Morgan can guide you through the steps necessary to gain true freedom from tongue tie in East Texas.

Pre-Surgery Myofunctional Therapy

A frenectomy, a minimally invasive procedure that allows the tongue to regain its full range of movement, is a pivotal part of addressing tongue tie. However, many children and adults require myofunctional therapy before their frenectomy. During myofunctional therapy, Our myofunctional therapy expert, will guide you through a series of exercises. The goal of the exercises is to strengthen the tongue and prepare it to function at its best after you undergo a frenectomy.

Starting myofunctional therapy prior to the frenectomy will prevent you or your child from slipping back into the bad habits that the tongue tie caused. For example, it encourages nose breathing rather than mouth breathing. Hence, you may experience some relief from tongue tie symptoms even before your surgery.


Although we do have laser treatment, Dr. Morgan uses the scissors and sutures more often due to its effectiveness. With this treatment, Dr. Morgan can remove the vertical band of thin tissue that connects the tongue to the bottom of the mouth, allowing it to move freely. Once the tissue is removed, Dr. Morgan will suture the affected area to begin the healing process. This procedure can be performed in just 45 minutes with local anesthetic, making it incredibly easy to receive.

Post-Surgery Myofunctional Therapy

If you had a surgery on your knee or elbow, you would expect to undergo some physical therapy afterward, right? Think of a frenectomy in the same light; post-surgical myofunctional therapy is basically physical therapy for your mouth. The exercises you perform with Lindi’s guidance will help you:

  • Keep your tongue and lips in a proper resting position. This can prevent dental problems and improve facial aesthetics.
  • Chew and swallow effectively and efficiently. You should be able to enjoy a broader range of foods once you master proper use of your tongue.
  • Continue to strengthen the tongue. You will thus be better equipped to pronounce words correctly and clearly.

In addition to myofunctional therapy, you might benefit from other treatments. For example, if your tongue tie caused tongue thrust, and the tongue thrust led to orthodontic problems, you may need treatment to address those issues. You may also benefit from speech therapy.

Properly treating tongue tie is quite the journey for some individuals, but it is worth it! If you would like to learn how Dr. Morgan and his team can free you or your child from this condition, contact our practice today.


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