The Kidds Place is now open and accepting all patients!

Understanding Tongue-Tie in Adults


You’ve probably heard someone say they’re tongue-tied when they can’t speak because they’re shy, embarrassed, or can’t get the words out right. However, if you are genuinely suffering from a tongue-tie, it’s not one moment here and there; it’s ongoing issues with speech, among other problems.

At The Kidds Place, we realize how frustrating a tongue-tie in young adults can be. So we offer a simple solution to help — laser frenectomy.

We want to take a moment to explain the condition and treatment to help you make an informed decision about the right correction for you.

General information

A tongue-tie is a condition that occurs when the band of tissue connecting the tongue and the lower portion of the mouth is too short, thick, or tight, leading to a decrease in the tongue’s range of motion.

According to a study published in Springer Publishing Connect…Click to open link in a new tab… — a publishing platform for health and behavioral science journals and books— between 3.5 and 5 percent of people are born with this condition.

While some receive treatment during childhood, if you didn’t have any issues with it growing up, it may have gone untreated.

On the other hand, a physician may have urged your parents to avoid treatment at a young age because the tissue may loosen on its own over time.

No matter the case, Dr. Cathy Luchini is excited to address the issue now and help you lead a life without the downfalls of having a tongue-tie.


In children, we stress how being tongue-tied affects a feeding child and can even make the experience uncomfortable for the mother.

A tongue-tie in adults can have an impact on the sufferer as well, affecting various aspects of their lives, including:

  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Breathing
  • Speaking
  • Sticking their tongue out past the lower front teeth
  • Moving their tongue from side to side


Though you may suffer from immediate effects of tongue-tie that weigh on your overall quality of life, long-term complications can also occur.

For one, this issue can hinder your ability to care for your teeth, limiting how well you can brush debris off the teeth. To make matters worse, it hinders your ability to swallow, which can cause food to remain in the mouth and on and in between the teeth. As a result, you’re more at risk for decay and gingivitis/gum disease.

With this condition, you also have a heightened likelihood of developing a temporomandibular joint disorder, abbreviated TMJ disorder or TMD, which occurs when you have tenderness or pain in the muscles or ligaments in one or both jaw joints.

Other potential complications are as follows:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Speech problems, particularly with the “t,” “d,” “th,” “z,” “l,” or “r” sounds
  • Difficulty eating certain foods, like licking ice cream
  • Tongue thrust (when the tongue pushes against or between the front teeth)


Fortunately, it’s not too late to treat your tongue-tie. Our pediatric dentist treats young adults who battle with this condition.

The first part of your treatment will include filling out a dental/medical history form to give our dentist insight and ensure the laser treatment is safe.

Our dentist will also speak with you about the symptoms you’re experiencing to ensure this therapy is necessary and will benefit you.

Laser therapy consists of our dentist aiming light energy at the tissue. Rather than cutting it, the laser “vaporizes” the tissue, giving you a minimally invasive way to correct your tongue-tie. The entire process usually takes around one minute.

Most patients have little to no bleeding after the procedure. The amount of pain is usually minimal afterward as well. If you have any pain or discomfort, it’s typically manageable with acetaminophen or ibuprofen, but make sure you receive the okay from our dentist before taking anything.

If you’ve been stressing over undergoing surgery to treat a tied tongue, you’ll see that there’s no reason to fret. We can provide you with a quick solution with minimal pain. And you’ll reap ALL the benefits of no longer contending with a tied tongue.

Contact us today if you have questions or are ready to schedule a visit.

Visit us at our convenient Spokane location! We’re also easily accessible to Pullman, Lewiston, Cheney, Airway Heights, and Fairwoord, WA, along with Rathdrum, Sandpoint, Moscow, and Post Falls, ID.



Our address & contact details


Postal Address

506 East Hastings Rd.
Suite B
Spokane WA 99218

Phone & Email

Phone: 509.252.4746
Fax: 509.789.1640

Business Hours

M-W 7:00am - 3:30pm
Thurs 7:00AM - 1:00pm
Fri: By Appointment Only - Surgery Days
Sat & Sun: CLOSED

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