What is a Tongue Tie?

A tongue tie occurs when a thin membrane under the babies tongue,(the lingual frenum), restricts the movement of the tongue. There are also lip and buccal (cheek ties). It is often referred to as TOTS (Tethered Oral Tissue Syndrome)

This occurs at about 6 weeks in utero.

We are all born with some of this tissue. However, if not formed properly it can affect many aspects of normal growth and development.

Common Signs and Symptoms (See additional Sheet)

How does TOTS affect us? 

  • The movement of the tongue is necessary for appropriate firing of 3 Cranial Nerves:
  • The Vagus Nerve: master sensory nerve of the body with direct relationships to digestion and immune system (and much more).
  • Associated with a higher placed Hyoid where neck muscles are attached. This puts stress on Upper Cervical Spine where the brainstem is housed and affects Sensory Development: Vestibular, Proprioception, Tactile, Auditory, and Olfactory. Sensory information arising from the upper neck is important in the reflex control of posture and eye position. This is an important element for all movement but also reading, writing, copying things, etc.
  • Sensory-Motor Dysfunction: The ability to take in, process, organize, and integrate sensory information so that we feel comfortable and secure. We can then respond appropriately to given situations and commands/demands so that proper social, emotional, academic and motor learning can occur.
  • Posture: Results in constant tension to the spine by pulling on the dura. This can cause compensation in the fascia resulting in torticollis, scoliosis, forward head posture, posture shifts, etc.            

The process of revising TOTS

  • Chiropractic: This is essential before revisions to ensure the best release possible and begin proper stimulation of the body.
    • It is also necessary afterwards for proper alignment of the spine and

Integration of primitive reflexes

  • Helpful for post care basics such as confidence with the exercises (prevents reattachment and integration as mentioned)
  • Support of the process: every child is different in their response: some feed better right away, others may take time to “see the difference”.
  • Guidance on the healing process: pain, swelling, crying, fussiness, etc.
  • Lactation Consultant
  • Bodyworker/Myofascial Therapist: (depending on age and severity)
  • Myofunctional Therapist (depending on age and severity)

This is a process and not simply a “cut”. It is important to work with those who can guide you on the importance of post release care such as but not limited to exercises, integration of the nervous system, etc.

If possible, it is ideal for a baby to be at least 1 month old.

It can take some time for the baby to show changes depending on how old they are when the revision is done, baseline health, etc.

If you choose to make this decision I will BEG you to make sure it is done properly by a DDS and not a pediatrician.  My son has been revised 3 times and my daughter 2 times because I did not know what I didn’t know.

Who to See:

Infant/pediatric/”really unsure about this”: Dr.Fetzik in Wichita   316.440.4432 They have been doing this for years and have patients from all over the country.  They are also less expensive than most local doctors.

Local: Dr. Prater, Dr. Herre, Dr. Humphrey, Dr. Prybl

Pediatric/Adult/have had prior experience with TOTs: Dr. Tim Herre.

Kelly Bradshaw at his office is amazing for Myofunctional Assessment as well and we highly recommend her services.