As a dental surgeon with a focus on tongue ties, I often see patients who are adults and suspect they may have a tongue tie but are unsure of the signs and symptoms. In this blog, I will provide information on what to look out for and how to identify a tongue tie in adults.
Firstly, it is important to understand what a tongue tie is. A tongue tie, or ankyloglossia, is a condition where the tongue is tethered to the floor of the mouth by a thick or tight band of tissue called the lingual frenulum. This can limit the tongue’s movement, leading to a variety of symptoms.
One of the most common signs of a tongue tie in adults is speech difficulties. A person may have difficulty pronouncing certain sounds, such as "t," "d," "l," and "r." This is because the tongue's range of motion is limited, which can affect speech clarity and fluency.
Another common symptom is difficulty with eating and swallowing. A person with a tongue tie may experience discomfort or pain when eating certain foods or find it difficult to chew and swallow food properly.
Other signs and symptoms of a tongue tie in adults include:
A noticeable or visible thick or tight frenulum
Difficulty breathing through the nose
Chronic mouth breathing
Sleep apnea or snoring
Persistent headaches or migraines
Neck and shoulder pain
Jaw pain or clicking
If you suspect that you have a tongue tie based on these symptoms, it is important to consult with a dental professional who is experienced in identifying and treating tongue ties. They can perform a thorough examination of the tongue and oral cavity to confirm the presence of a tongue tie.
In some cases, a frenectomy, which is a simple surgical procedure to remove the frenulum, may be recommended to alleviate symptoms and improve tongue function. This procedure can be performed using various techniques, including laser or scissors.
In conclusion, tongue ties can occur in adults and can have a significant impact on speech, eating, and overall quality of life. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms discussed above, it is important to seek advice from a dental professional with experience in identifying and treating tongue ties. Don't let a tongue tie go unnoticed and untreated, as it can have a long-term impact on your health and well-being.