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Mother and Baby

Tethered Oral Tissue & Chiropractic

What is a tethered oral tissue?

       A tethered oral tissue is a fascial restriction that can cause tension in the mouth, skull, body or neck of an individual. They can be located under the tongue, in the cheeks, and/or under the lips.

What are some symptoms of a tethered oral tissue?

       Infants can present with poor feeding, breast or bottle, lack of weight gain, reflux, excessive gas, constipation, mouth breathing, torticollis (persistent head tilt to one side), favoring a side to look at or lay on, misshapen head and colic. Some infants will fail to meet developmental milestones such as sitting up, rolling over, or crawling on all fours when a tethered oral restriction is present.

       Toddlers and older children can present with speech delays or articulation problems, developmental milestone delays, headaches, neck pain, reflux, gagging, choking or spitting up food, texture sensitivities, digestive disorders, mouth breathing or poor sleep.


What does a chiropractor do?

       Symptoms are the body’s way of announcing that there is a dysfunction with the nervous system. Chiropractors check the nervous system with a detailed history and exam involving reflexes, vitals and a neuro/musculoskeletal exam. The premise of chiropractic is to heal from the inside out. If a chiropractor finds a subluxation, a misalignment in the spine causing nerve interference, they correct it with a gentle, specific adjustment.


How does chiropractic relate to a tethered oral tissue?

       When you have a tethered oral tissue present, your body can cause tension in the upper neck and the skull. These areas of the body house joints, muscles, and nerves that fire sensory input into the brain which is a key driver for child development. A tethered oral tissue creates a body imbalance which can create a brain imbalance.

       An individual who is about to release tethered oral restrictions has had abnormal sensory and biomechanical input in their body for quite some time. A newborn baby has already been swallowing with restrictions since week 10 in their mother’s belly.

       Chiropractors work with the body to create an environment that is functioning at its optimal level pre-release and post release. Re-educating the nervous system takes up to 4 weeks post revision and can be incredibly tedious and ineffective for a parent or the individual if pre- release bodywork is not properly done. Seeking the optimal timing of release for tethered oral restrictions with proper tongue tie professionals can enhance the body’s ability to re-adapt, learn and thrive after the procedure.

Destiny Cooper DC, CACCP

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