Tongue Tie, referred to as “Ankyloglossia” or ‘tethered tongue’ is a common but often overlooked condition. Other oral restrictions include ‘tethering’ of the cheeks and/or upper and lower lips. Collectively the ‘ties’ are now becoming better known as “Tethered Oral Tissues” or T.O.T.s, the acronym created by Dr. Kevin Boyd at the World Tongue Tie Summit Montreal 2014 (IATP).
A Tongue Tie, regardless of Grade, may restrict the ALL IMPORTANT normal tongue resting posture (entire tongue body ‘glued’ to the roof of the mouth/palate from behind the front teeth back to the soft palate) and tongue function. Most people are unaware that these tethers or T.O.T.s should dissolve and disappear at approximately 12 weeks in utero, well before the baby is born. Babies should be examined for T.O.T.s at birth, by a properly trained professional, a mandatory examination now carried out in Brazil and the state of New Jersey in the US. Unfortunately, many professionals have not been trained in this particular area and often, but inadvertently give the wrong diagnosis. Babies were routinely examined at birth for alterated/restricted tongues up to the 1940’s and when diagnosed, surgically corrected (often by the Mid-wife). This is unfortunately no longer the case, as today, T.O.T.s are given little attention and often ignored.