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Teenager and Mother

Tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, is often caught and treated in childhood, yet there are adults and teens who for one reason or another have not had the condition treated. Although this is a congenital condition, some individuals are able to manage fine until they get older. In other situations, the tissue may have grown back after a frenulectomy, also called a frenectomy, was performed. The frenulum often grows back to some degree. Usually, the growth is not enough to cause problems, but sometimes it may, especially if it is thick and fibrous.

Problems with Tongue Tie

Teens are very self-conscious to begin with. A condition such as ankyloglossia can cause problems for several reasons. Your teen may be teased for having a forked tongue as the tissue involved holds the tongue in such a position as to cause it to look forked. Simple movements such as licking an ice cream cone may be difficult.

Speech problems are common. Certain sounds, such as “TH,” “D,” “L” and “T,” require elevation of the tongue to touch the palate. Ankyloglossia can make those sounds challenging or prevent them from being correctly pronounced. Some individuals will skip over these sounds, which can give others the wrong impression.

Brushing your teeth can be difficult if the tongue is attached very close to the edge of the gum. Tongue thrusting is common for people with ankyloglossia and this can cause the lower incisor teeth to move forward in the jaw, resulting in misalignment.

Treatment for Ankyloglossia

Minimally invasive surgery to release the tongue is fast and simple. Laser surgery is used to release the frenulum and the entire procedure lasts less than a minute. The area is numbed, the laser is applied and the tongue is released. Wounds in the mouth heal quickly and it is the same with this treatment. There is little to no bleeding or discomfort, other than a little soreness after the anesthetic wears off. The soreness goes away after a day or two.

If you have an adolescent who has ankyloglossia, contact South Carolina Tongue Tie Center and let us help your child experience life without this condition. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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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