Tongue Tie

Tongue Tie Surgery in London with American Smile

Tongue Tie Specialists in Chelsea

As well as in new-borns, adults can also be affected by a tongue-tie or restricted tongue (it doesn’t have to be to-the-tip of the tongue) as the tissue does not stretch out or disappear. It might not have been diagnosed at birth but a tongue tie may be causing issues affecting breathing, sleeping, digestion and a number of other symptoms.

The best quick self-assessment you can do at home is to open your mouth wide and lift up your tongue and try to touch behind your top teeth. Look in a mirror, and if you can only lift about halfway or less, there is therefore significant tongue restriction, meaning the mobility is limited.

Even if you are able to lift the tongue up past halfway but having to slightly close your lower jaw, you may be raising the floor of the mouth and 'compensating', meaning you could have restricted tongue mobility but a functionally 'normal' appearance. However, there are several symptoms that are much more pertinent than simply the appearance of your tongue in order to properly diagnose a tongue-tie/tongue restriction.

Dr. Suraj Vatish

Dental Surgeon

Areas of Interest :

Tongue/Lip tie release
Breathe studies

GDC No. 259241

What are the main symptoms of tongue tie ?

Typically tongue-tied adults will present the following symptoms:

  • Neck and shoulder tension
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Sleeping difficulties (snoring, teeth grinding, sleep apnoea, poor quality of sleep, feeling fatigued/run down)
  • Slow eating or trouble swallowing pills
  • Speech difficulties (getting tired when talking, mumbling, stuttering, or a history of speech therapy or speech delay as a child)
  • Breathing issues (mouth breathing)
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Reflux
  • TMJ Issues

You may not present all of these issues, for example some adults may have perfect speech but still have a tongue-tie, but tongue restriction may be contributing to a number of these problems.

Book your consultation

How Does Tongue Tie Surgery (Frenectomy) Work?

We release a tongue tie in adults with the state-of-the-art CO2 laser that removes the restriction, then the cut is closed with dissolvable sutures. This procedure is a step above the traditional method with scissors as we can visualize the whole restriction and selectively remove the connective tissue / fibres that are keeping your tongue from normal mobility.

The procedure is virtually painless using just a local anaesthetic on the treatment area (no sedation required) but may be sore afterward for up to 1 week. Most adults notice results within the first couple of days with less neck tension and higher quality sleep within the first week or so.

Our tongue tie release success rate is consistently over 95% and we provide 25-30 tongue and lip releases weekly to adults and children. Dr Suraj works closely with Dr Zaghi and Breathe institute in Los Angeles, who is a world renowned leader of functional frenuloplasty.

Tongue Tie Treatment London

Process of adult tongue tie release at American Smile

  1. Initial Assessment. During this visit Dr Suraj will carry out functional examination and advise if tongue tie release is recommended.
    If tongue tie release is recommended - Dr Suraj will advise Myofunctional therapy or myofunctional exercises to be carried out in preparation for Tongue tie release.
  2. Laser Tongue tie release
  3. Review appointment is usually scheduled 7 days after release to check how well healing is going and

Read More about Tongue Ties on our Happy Kids Dental Website

Importance of Myofunctional therapy

Myofunctional therapy is often recommended before tongue tie release in adult patients because it can help improve the function and coordination of the tongue and other orofacial muscles, leading to better outcomes following the procedure. Here are some reasons why myofunctional therapy is important before tongue tie release in adult patients:

  1. Improves tongue function: Myofunctional therapy can help improve the strength and coordination of the tongue, which can improve its ability to perform its many functions, such as speaking, swallowing, and chewing.
  2. Prevents relapse: Without proper rehabilitation following tongue tie release, there is a risk of relapse or reattachment of the tongue tie. Myofunctional therapy can help prevent this by strengthening the tongue and other orofacial muscles and promoting proper healing.
  3. Addresses compensatory habits: Compensatory habits, such as mouth breathing or tongue thrusting, can develop as a result of tongue tie and may persist even after the tongue tie is released. Myofunctional therapy can help address these compensatory habits and promote proper orofacial function.

5 Reasons to have tongue tie release as an adult

  1. Some people are surprised to learn that tongue restrictions might cause neck pain and TMJ issues.
    If tongue movement is restricted, it can not perform its function fully and this has implications on eight other muscles in the mouth and those are closely connected to the neck. This can cause neck pain, jaw pain and even severe headaches. Getting a tongue tie released makes it easier for the tongue to participate in regular jaw movements and relieves tension created in other muscles.
  2. Better breathing is also often reported by our patients after their release.
    When you have a tongue tie - your tongue is restricting the passage of air and can lead to mouth breathing, which is much less effective in terms of how much oxygen is delivered to your brain, as a result you can feel drained and fatigued during the day.
  3. Clearer speech is reported by most of our patients, as speech is one of the most essential functions of the tongue. People with a tongue-tie often have pronounced lisps and might also find it difficult to speak loudly. Needless to say, when the release is performed, patients feel relieved to discover their speech is easily understood, which can make a real difference in both personal and professional lives.
  4. Enjoy different foods. The tongue also plays a vital role in eating, as it helps move food in the mouth to help it get crushed and ground down. Tongue-tie can interfere with this function and you might not be able to chew efficiently. Hard to chew foods become much less appealing. Not chewing foods well can also make it hard to appreciate their flavour. A lot of our adult patients say they were called picky eaters as children. If your tongue is tied, you might have more difficulty swallowing, making some foods unappealing. You will find it easier to eat and enjoy foods after the tongue-tie release.
  5. How does becoming a better kisser sound to you? Our patients are very excited about this added bonus! And so are their partners!

As Featured In…

We have combined the inside knowledge and experience of American, Brazilian, European and British dentistry to bring you the most advanced, evidence-based techniques to design a smile you will love and be empowered to maintain.

Invisalign Orthodontist Chelsea

Looking for a kid friendly children's dental clinic in London ?

Happy Kids Dental has state-of-the-art dental clinics in Marylebone and Chelsea. Our child-focussed dentists make the visit fun for kids and relaxing for adults.

Children love us and parents love us too! Book an appointment and see for yourself.

Click here to find out more