Why Isn’t Tongue-Tie Release Surgery For Adults Talked About More?

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Hi, I’m Dr. B, practicing functional dentist for 35 years. I graduated from the Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco, CA in 1987 and am a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM), Academy of General Dentistry (Chicago, IL), American Academy for Oral Systemic Health (AAOSH), and Dental Board of California. I'm on a mission to empower people everywhere with the same evidence-based, easy-to-understand dental health advice that my patients get. Learn more about Dr. B

There is an apparent dearth of literature and conversation on the topic of tongue-tie surgery for adults and today’s listener question asks why that is. There are a few probable and possible reasons for this, and it is very relevant to ask the question in the first place, as treatment of the condition is as important for adults as it is in younger patients. One of the main reasons might be simple human bias, as well as the different approaches of parents and independent adults towards pursuing surgery. Parents to children suffering from tongue-tie are more likely to agree to surgery more quickly, while an adult considering treatment for themselves, might delay for a number of reasons, including issues around medical insurance and work commitments. To round off our exploration of this question, Dr. B reminds us of the problems that can result from untreated tongue-tie, as well as the high numbers of individuals who are affected.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Today’s question: Why isn’t tongue-tie release surgery for adults talked about more?
  • The biased emphasis on tongue-tie treatment for children. 
  • Some of the possible reasons for the lack of literature focussing on this surgery for adults. 
  • The high numbers of people affected by tongue-tie symptoms.
  • Taking the steps towards surgery and why these are more direct for children. 
  • The huge impact that tongue-tie can have on the path of a person’s life. 
  • Later conditions and comorbidities that can result from untreated tongue-tie.

How to Submit Your Question:

Record your question for Dr. B at speakpipe.com/askthedentist 


“Adults can benefit greatly from tongue-tie surgery.” — @askthedentist [0:01:48]

“Tongue-tie has become very prevalent. 40 or 50% of the population is born with some kind of tongue-tie, and that’s a huge number.” — @askthedentist [0:02:41]

“The takeaway here is that tongue-tie is as important in adults as it is in infants, and we should all be looking out for it, and as patients be willing to address it.” — @askthedentist [0:04:05]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

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