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Speech and Tongue-Tie

Under-developed oral kinaesthesia is the result of individuals with a tongue-tie having a very poor sense of the geography of the mouth, because they have such a limited range of lingual movements. Speech problems occur which are difficult to correct by conventional means because they cannot memorize the correct movements of speech, or be sure of always achieving them. Adults develop methods of speech which mask their difficulties with sounds.

Both adults and children often try to speak with a small oral aperture, so that they can make the lingual contacts required for pronouncing consonants; others speak slowly, softly or loudly. Nearly all patients past toddler stage are aware of the movements their tongue cannot make. Clarity in rapid speech is almost always impossible for a tongue-tied person to achieve.

The movements that tongue-tie renders difficult may vary from patient to patient but some movements – such as lingual elevation to the upper teeth and horizontal lingual protrusion – are consistently difficult or impossible to achieve because of the pull of the tight lingual frenum on the floor of the mouth and on the tongue. Other movements (whether articulatory or unrelated to speech) can only be achieved under optimal conditions: during careful speech, after prolonged speech therapy, when concentrating, and when talking slowly.

Thus it is seen that many with tongue tie learn to compensate for their limited tongue mobility by adopting alterations of movements. These are rarely successful since they are often conspicuous or inefficient.