Is it down in your mandible, in the middle of your mouth, or resting on your palate? You might be surprised at the answer!
My tongue rested down for 30 years, and I thought that was normal. They don’t teach this concept in dental school. Gravity pulls the tongue down right? Actually, your tongue should be resting entirely on the palate. Not just the tip of the tongue, but the middle and posterior sections should be resting up.
Your lips should be together, and your breathing should be through the nose 95-100% of the time. Those are the three main goals of Myofunctional Therapy. (You also want a proper swallow and muscle balance.)
Myofunctional therapy has been around since 1918 when the first article was published describing exercises for the development of the face and tongue muscles (Dr. Alfred Paul Rogers).
Myofunctional therapy, also called Orofacial Myology (confusing, I know), focuses on targeted active and passive exercises to take patients from dysfunctional habits or muscle patterns, and take them to functional healthy habits, with the goal of not just having the muscles in harmony, but the results from having muscles in balance help with breathing, speaking, sleep, feeding, and posture.
You may notice that many of those issues are very similar to the symptoms we see from tongue-tie issues. The main problem with a restricted tongue (tongue-tie) is that it prevents proper tongue mobility and proper tongue movement. So, you have similar issues with bad tongue habits that encourage a low tongue posture, or poor tongue movement.
Before releasing a tongue-tie on an older child or adult, ensure that the patient is working with a myofunctional therapist, and has performed exercises before the release. This will help the procedure and the aftercare go more smoothly. Also, you will get better results with therapy + tongue-tie release than with just the release by itself.
Babies and toddlers should be seen by a lactation consultant, or speech or feeding therapist, whatever their struggles may be, for best results.
To learn more about Myofunctional Therapy, or more about Tongue-Tie treatment, download a FREE copy of our bestselling book Tongue-Tied.