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Being tongue-tied is an actual medical condition, not just a figure of speech. Under our tongue, there is a small bridge of tissue called the lingual frenulum that unites the muscular organ to the mouth’s base. Being tongue-tied means the lingual frenulum is shorter or tighter than it should be. Tongue-tie is also known as ankyloglossia.

People with Tongue-Tie Experience Restricted Tongue Mobility

Tongue-tied people have limited lingual flexibility and movement. This restriction of healthy tongue articulation and palatal rest can result in several difficulties that worsen over time. For example, a posterior restriction can cause swallowing and speech impairments, among other complications.

Tongue-Tie is a Genetic Condition

Ankyloglossia is a genetic condition. It is most noticeable at birth, with breastfeeding babies having trouble feeding and toddlers learning how to talk. However, the challenges continue into adulthood, with those affected experiencing dental issues, mouth breathing and facial development imbalances. Some suffer from sleeping and eating problems as well.

The Power of the Tongue

The tongue can influence our teeth, respiration, digestion, jaw motions and even the orientation of our neck and shoulders because it is one of our face’s most potent and movable parts.
When the tongue’s natural movement is inhibited, everything associated with it can be affected, causing a chain reaction. For example:

  • If tongue-tie results in mouth breathing, it can affect the body’s ability to transport oxygen, govern blood vessel dilatation, regulate pH and more.
  • When you do not get enough sleep, your autonomic nervous system can become unbalanced, wreaking havoc on your hormones and inhibiting your thyroid’s capacity to control your metabolism.
  • Tongue-tie often causes jaw joint difficulties that affect chewing; improper or insufficient chewing can cause stomach aches and acid reflux.
  • Untreated tongue-tie can restrict airways and impair swallowing, promoting mucus buildup and middle ear infections.
  • Tongue-tie may cause subtle visual abnormalities like flattened cheeks and a protruding jaw, which can cause the sclera (eyeball whites) to protrude.
  • The face develops horizontally and forward. Tongue-tie changes these growth patterns and alters the arch lengths, causing impacted molars or crowded front teeth. Therefore, having your child’s tongue fixed when an infant is the best choice. That way, we can restore the tongue’s capacity to shape u-shaped arches, and your child will have sufficient room in their mouth for all their coming teeth.

Early evaluation and treatment of ankyloglossia by a competent medical practitioner like South Carolina Tongue Tie can prevent these and other significant difficulties.

Advanced Tongue-Tie Treatment in Charleston

Tongue posture and movement are vital to overall health. Fortunately, the treatment is simple. To learn more about tongue-tie treatment, contact our Charleston office to schedule an exam.

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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