Oral Myofascial Tightness
Mamta Sharma

By - Mamta Sharma
Functional Manual Therapist at VARDĀN
Tongue tie or upper lip tie are examples of tightness around the oral /facial musculature. A tongue-tie or ankyloglossia is a condition babies are born with that restricts their tongue's range of motion. A tongue-tie is a thick, tight tissue band called a lingual frenulum that tethers the tongue's bottom to the mouth floor. Lip tie is a similar band of tissue that attaches the lip to the gums at a level much higher than normal. It can lead to potential breastfeeding issues, a gap between upper front teeth, cavities, inability to close the lips without strain and speech difficulties.

This makes it harder for a baby to breastfeed. If you do not address this condition in your babies, they will carry it into adulthood. A person with a tongue-tie may have difficulty sticking the tongue out, affecting how a child speaks, eats, or swallows. If not treated as a child, the condition grows with them into adulthood, which means they create adaptive behaviors to compensate for the tongue-tie limitations. Such muscle restrictions can sometimes affect our health in a major way. A patient’s head is always tilted forward if they have a tongue-tie or a lip tie. This posture makes a severe impact on our muscles that include the sternocleidomastoid muscles, trapezius muscles, and the muscles surrounding them. The effect on these muscles causes symptoms of back pain, shoulder pain, headaches and migraines, and neck pain. However, when you get treatment for your tongue-tie done, you will get relief and the head or the spine will realign to its normal state. Moreover, exercises could help in making the head and spine sit correctly in their place. This treatment will eliminate the issues or pain caused by these restrictions.
Effects of Lip/Tongue Tie
A lip/ tongue-tie can affect your overall wellbeing and health into adulthood. The most common side effects of tongue ties include:
Poor Oral Health
A tongue-tie/lip tie reduces your ability to brush food particles off your teeth. It leads to poor oral health and issues like gum inflammation, tooth decay, etc.
Low Tongue Posture
Most people with tongue and lip-ties have smaller and narrower mouths, hence their tongue lies lower in the oral cavity leading to more tightness around neck/shoulder/facial muscle groups.
TMJ Issues
It may also cause pain in the temporomandibular joints (TMJ), due to compensatory mechanism in the surrounding muscles.
Sleep Apnea
Since people with tongue ties have poor dental alignment, they also have a smaller palate than usual. It reduces the size of the upper airway. When they sleep, they risk the upper airway collapsing during sleep or sleep apnea, which causes breathing interruptions.
Reduced Quality of Life
Depending on the tongue-tie's severity, it may reduce a person's quality of life. A person growing up with a tongue tie has to create adaptations to cope with the condition. They may eat foods that are easier to eat and avoid others, affecting their health and body weight. Chronic jaw, neck, and shoulder tension , headaches or migraines can be debilitating, and many people who suffer from these often see multiple professionals in an attempt to manage their symptoms without any long-term relief. We know that the tongue has many connections to the muscles and fascia of the body. When there is tightness in the tongue, we can expect that there may be some hyperactivity or tension in some of the surrounding tissues too.
How FMTTM Helps
Assessment of such dysfunctions in cases of unresolved chronic neck/shoulder tension can be done by a Functional Manual Therapist. Based on the severity of the tie, a patient can either be referred to an airway specialist / dentist or can be mobilized by a Functional Manual Therapist at Vardan. Treatment consists of releasing myofascial restrictions, postural Education, strengthening of the muscles to reduce the compensatory mechanism caused by such chronic issues.
Our Client Speak

"I was dealing with back pain for a long time, not sure what was the cause. At Vardan, we could figure out the problem, and I have been relieved of the pain, just in a few sessions. Until I came to Vardan and solved my back pain problem, I did not realize how much more energetically and effectively I can carry on my day-to-day activities. If anyone is struggling with body pain and not where to get help, I recommend Vardan. The therapist and staff are very helpful and courteous as well."
Above all, thank you so much for all the sessions. I have forgotten what the life without back pain was like, now I know!

- Yumi

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