An average human tongue is around 10cm long, has thousands of taste buds, and performs many important actions related to speech and eating. Unfortunately, some diseases like ankyloglossia can negatively affect its length and mobility. Whether it is because of a medical issue or preferably cosmetic, there are surgical options and exercises to be done that could help you achieve a longer tongue.
Method 1 of 2: Consider surgery
Step 1. Decide whether or not this is the best solution
Ankyloglossia is a disorder that restricts the movement of the tongue and the individual who has it may have difficulty sticking out their tongue. This disease is characterized by a piece of flesh that normally connects the tip of the tongue to the floor of the mouth, but which is too short due to complications. You may want to consider surgery if you or your child has this disorder.
- Ankyloglossia affects more than language. The individual who has it could also have other problems with oral hygiene, dental health, feeding, digestion or sexual functioning.
- Ankyloglossia can be caused by external or genetic issues.
- The surgery can be performed on children, babies and adults.
- Ankyloglossia can negatively affect a newborn's ability to suckle.
- If your child has it, surgery is often the best option. In most cases, the tongue frenulum will not stretch or break on its own.
Step 2. Undergo a lingual frenectomy
It is the most common procedure to be performed on a lingual frenum which restricts the movement of the tongue. It is a relatively simple procedure in which the surgeon uses a pair of sterilized scissors to remove the frenulum from the tongue.
- It is a short operation of 10 to 15 minutes which is most often performed under local anesthesia.
- There are not many blood vessels in the frenulum, which is why discomfort should be minimal during the procedure.
Step 3. Undergo frenuloplasty
It is considered when the frenum is too thick or when repairs are needed after the frenectomy. This intervention is more precise and it consists in altering the shape of the brake without completely removing it.
- The goal of frenuloplasty is the same as that of frenulectomy, both interventions increase the length and mobility of the tongue.
- A frenuloplasty is usually done under general anesthesia. The surgeon uses surgical tools and stitches to close the wound.
Step 4. Understand the possible complications after surgery
Postoperative complications associated with frenectomy and lingual frenulectomy are usually not serious, but they can lead to infection, bleeding, and nerve damage. Since frenuloplasty is more complicated, there are risks of scarring and negative reactions to the anesthesia.
Both surgeries can be performed with a scalpel or a laser. If you have laser surgery to correct ankyloglossia, you will not have stitches and you will have less pain and bleeding than scalpel surgery
Step 5. Do tongue exercises
You can do them after the surgery to develop the muscles of the tongue as well as its length and mobility. Here are a few.
- Stretch the tongue out towards the nose and up to the chin. Repeat this exercise three or four times.
- Move your tongue back and forth on the outer part of the upper lip.
- Close your mouth and move your tongue between the left cheek and the right cheek.
- Move your tongue up and down several times in the mouth.
Method 2 of 2: Practicing kechari mudra yoga
Step 1. Understand the basics of kechari mudra
It is an advanced yoga practice in which the individual uses their tongue to strengthen their body and raise their level of consciousness. The goal of this practice is to gradually increase the length of the tongue until it is long enough to enter the nasal cavity and stimulate certain parts there.
By training continuously, the kechari mudra allows the individual to fight diseases and decrease his breathing rate
Step 2. Start the practice
Sit in a comfortable position and curl your tongue to touch the palate. Try to touch it as far back in your mouth as possible. You might only get to touch the hard palate when you are starting out.
- Hold your tongue back until you feel pain, then return your tongue to a normal position.
- As you practice, your tongue will start to stretch further and reach more distant points in the mouth.
- Once you have gained some confidence, you can practice kechari mudra by doing other light activities.
Step 3. Ask a more advanced yogi for help
In the final stages of this practice, the tongue should be long enough to extend past the uvula and back up into the nasal cavity. You will be able to reach this stage safely and more easily if you ask for help from an expert yogi who will guide you.
- Your doctor might recommend that you apply butter or clarified butter to make your tongue stick out and longer. At this point, it should be long enough to reach the center of your eyebrows.
- Even with a guide, it will take you months, if not years, to master the kechari mudra.