Tongue Tie and Its Effect on the Whole Body, Growth and Development


We interviewed Michelle Emanuel OTR/L IBCLC NBCR CST CIMI RYT200 to discuss tongue tie and its effect on the whole body, growth and childhood development. You can watch the replay below.

What Is Tongue Tie?

Tongue tie is a condition in which a string of tissue under the tongue is so thick that it restricts normal tongue movement and therefore function. It can cause or contribute to a whole host of health and quality-of-life issues such as:

You wouldn’t think that such a small piece of layered fascia could have such a big impact, but it can!

How Is Tongue Tie Treated?

Tongue ties are typically released with scissors or a laser at a qualified doctor’s or dentist’s office. The procedure usually takes 30 seconds or less. What’s important is the aftercare, which requires a team of practitioners using a whole-body approach to keep the tongue from reattaching, to increase functionality of the tongue and to help the body to readjust to the tremendous amount of pressure that has been released.

These practitioners can be, depending on the age of the child or adult:

In This Webinar

Our guest, Michelle Emanuel, explained how a released tongue tie can affect the growth and development of a child in a positive way. Building on her expertise as a lacatation consultant, a craniosacral therapist, an occupational therapist and the developer of both the TummyTime! Method as well as BabyMyo, Michelle shows how and why bodywork is necessary for those who have had a tongue-tie release.

Please note that you will be asked to provide your email address at the 30-minute mark to continue viewing the replay.

About Michelle Emanuel OTR/L IBCLC NBCR CST CIMI RYT200

Michelle has 25 years experience as a neonatal/pediatric occupational therapist, lactation consultant, national board-certified reflexologist, certified craniosacral therapist, certified infant massage instructor, and a registered yoga teacher specializing in the precrawling infant.

For 17 years, she worked at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, in both inpatient/NICU and outpatient/development realms.

During this time, Michelle developed the TummyTime! Method (TTM) to help parents and babies overcome challenges and love tummy time.

Michelle also developed BabyMyo, a novel curriculum of oral habilitation involving optimal strength, endurance, range of motion, sensory processing, motor patterns, reflexes, oral and pharyngeal phases of breastfeeding and bottlefeeding for the newborn to precrawling baby.

She also educates, certifies, and mentors professionals to become certified in TTM. For the past few years, Michelle has beein in full-time private practice, evaluating and treating babies with cranial nerve dysfunction, tethered oral tissues and precrawling baby oral motor/developmental concerns.

Michelle is a co-author of Tongue-Tied: How a Tiny String Under the Tongue Impacts Nursing, Speech, Feeding, and More.

She is on the teaching staff of the Academy of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy. You can find out more about her at


This webinar is not a substitute for medical advice, treatment, diagnosis, or consultation with a medical professional. It is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be relied on to make determinations related to treatment of a medical condition. Epidemic Answers has not verified and does not guaranty the accuracy of the information provided in this webinar.

Sources & References

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Baxter, R., et al. Speech and Feeding Improvements in Children After Posterior Tongue-Tie Release: A Case Series. Intl Journal of Clinical Pediatrics. 2018 Sep,7(3):29-35.

Berry, J., et al. A double-blind, randomized, controlled trial of tongue-tie division and its immediate effect on breastfeeding. Breastfeed Med. 2012 Jun;7(3):189-93.

Bussi, M.T., et al. Is ankyloglossia associated with obstructive sleep apnea? Braz J Otorhinolaryngol. 2021 Nov 5;S1808-8694(21)00181-6.

Edmond, A., et al. Randomised controlled trial of early frenotomy in breastfed infants with mild-moderate tongue-tie. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2014 May;99(3):F189-95.

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Ghaheri, B.A., et al. Revision Lingual Frenotomy Improves Patient-Reported Breastfeeding Outcomes: A Prospective Cohort Study. J Hum Lact. 2018 Aug;34(3):566-574.

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Hesselbacher, S., et al. A Study to Assess the Relationship between Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Adults. Cureus. 2019 Oct 24;11(10):e5979.

Hogan, M., et al. Randomized, controlled trial of division of tongue-tie in infants with feeding problems. J Paediatr Child Health. May-Jun 2005;41(5-6):246-50.

Huang, Y.S., et al. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder with obstructive sleep apnea: a treatment outcome study. Sleep Med. 2007 Jan;8(1):18-30.

Huang, Y.S., et al. Short Lingual Frenulum and Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Children. Intl Journal of Clinical Pediatrics. 2015,1(1):1-4

Hvolby, A. Associations of sleep disturbance with ADHD: implications for treatment. Atten Defic Hyperact Disord. 2015 Mar;7(1):1-18.

Ito, Y., et al. Effectiveness of tongue-tie division for speech disorder in children. Pediatr Int. 2015 Apr;57(2):222-6.

Messner, A.H., et al. The effect of ankyloglossia on speech in children. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2002 Dec;127(6):539-45.

O’Callahan, C., et al. The effects of office-based frenotomy for anterior and posterior ankyloglossia on breastfeeding. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2013 May;77(5):827-32.

Sedky, K., et al. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and sleep disordered breathing in pediatric populations: a meta-analysis. Sleep Med Rev. 2014 Aug;18(4):349-56.

Siegel, S. Aerophagia Induced Reflux in Breastfeeding Infants With Ankyloglossia and Shortened Maxillary Labial Frenula (Tongue and Lip Tie). Int J Clin Pediatr. 2016;5(1):6-8.

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