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  • Writer's pictureDr Shifa Shamsudeen

The Tongue Tie- Tie Berg

Tongue Tie – The big scam I have almost every patient that I consult come back to tell this!!

What is a frenum ? It is a small fold of mucous or fascia that secures or attaches an organ in the body to near by tissues. In mouth it’s there labial, lingual and buccal. . Does everyone have this ? Yes . Then what is a tongue/lip- tie or restriction? When this frenum is short , thickened, attached too ahead or tight , it limits the range of movement of lip or tongue. . Tongue moves out so doesn’t have a tie ? No , tongue has wide range of movements, like out/in , side to side and up / down. A tie can restrict all or any of this movement. . Children outgrow it / tongue tie corrects by itself? No , studies have shown that the frenum is made of Type 1 collagen ( found in skeletal tissues ) and dosent stretch or break. If so adults shouldn’t have ties. . Tongue – tie should be corrected only if speech is affected? Speech is the only obvious visible sign of the tongue tie. Tongue has other functions too including , feeding, breathing, cleaning and acting as a scaffold for the jaws to grow. . Many who had tongue ties are grown up and still dosent have issues? If your are not seeing the cause of an issue , you will probably never know why it happens . For example on the pic above , feeding is only the tip of the ice berg and the restriction can cause many many issues. . However say if a child has frequent cold and cough (URI) , the line of treatment is mainly drugs related to symptoms. Many a times when there is no protocol or functional assessment to see the role of tongue in this, we tend to overlook it. . Yes a restriction dosent cause life threatening acute problems, most of the problems are chronic thus it’s almost always overlooked or not diagnosed. Next time you hear that everyone has a tie, no everyone has a frenum and to say if it’s a tie needs evaluation. And everyone out grows it , a big NO !!!

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