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African American girl showing her tongue

Tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, is a congenital condition where the frenulum under the tongue is too short. While a tongue-tie can impact infants who breastfeed, some babies are able to nurse even with their mouth restriction. In fact, some people are not aware they have a tongue-tie until they are an adult. Even though you can live with a tongue-tie, it may be causing problems that you did not realize. Here are some of the symptoms teens and adults with a tongue-tie may experience.

Dental Issues
The tongue plays an important role in cleansing food particles from the teeth and gums. Restricted tongue movement can impact saliva flow to remove food, bacteria and plaque. Adults with a tongue-tie may have a higher risk for decay and gum disease, impacting their dental and overall health.

TMJ and Jaw Pain
Mouth restrictions like ankyloglossia can change the formation of the teeth and jaw. This can lead to jaw misalignment that puts stress on the jaw joint. Some adults with a tongue-tie can suffer from TMJ and jaw pain related to their mouth restriction.

Speech Issues
One of the reason toddlers and kids are treated for tongue-tie is the difficulty it causes with speech. It can be difficult to make certain sounds. As adults, you may have speech issues controlled, but not entirely. Adults with a tongue-tie can have a lisp or difficulty making certain sounds. They also may experience slurring after consuming a minimal amount of alcohol.

Sleep Apnea
Some adults with a tongue-tie may have a higher risk for sleep apnea due to the formation of their oral tissues. Sleep apnea can cause snoring and serious health risks like hypertension and stroke.

Self-Confidence and Esteem
A tongue-tie can make it difficult to speak clearly, swallow and maintain a beautiful smile. Eating or speaking in public can be embarrassing for some adults with tongue-ties. It is common for some adults with ankyloglossia to struggle with feeling confident in professional and personal social situations.

The impact of tongue-tie on adults can be more severe than once thought. It was a common belief that ankyloglossia did not need to be treated if an infant was able to feed or toddlers were able to speak properly. Now we understand that there are other possible effects for older children, teens and adults. The sooner tongue-tie is treated, the less complications it can cause an individual.

At South Carolina Tongue Tie Center, we offer laser frenectomy for the effective correction of tongue-tie in infants, kids and adults. If you believe you have a tongue-tie that is impacting your health or quality of life, contact us at our clinic in Charleston.

Posted on behalf of South Carolina Tongue Tie Center

538 Savannah Hwy
Charleston, SC 29407

Phone: 843-654-0459


Monday - Thursday: 8am - 5pm
Friday: 8am - 2pm

Our Patient Reviews

South Carolina Tongue Tie Center

4.7 / 5.0

Based on 5 reviews

  • Talia H.

    Great experience with my visit to Dr. McPhearson and Carrie, hygienist. Dr. McPhearson is so patient, kind, and a perfectionist. She cares deeply that you have a great dental visit every time.

  • Maham A.

    I saw Dr. Caitlin McPherson and she is absolutely amazing. Not only does she make sure that everything is beautiful and functional, but she also treats every patient and their concerns with the utmost kindness.

  • Frankie W.

    Dr. McPherson is absolutely the best I highly recommend her and her team for all of your dental needs.

  • Phillip R.

    Everyone is so nice and they all seem to have good comradery. Mallory, Taylor, and Dr. Caitlin McPherson definitely know what they're doing!

  • Kyle A.

    The staff is always friendly & Dr McPherson does a great job every time!

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