I have a patient tomorrow at 10:00 for consultation. He is an opera singer with a low posture tongue position by trade and the orthodontist said he has a tongue thrust of the upper four anterior teeth. He referred him to me to see if I could be of some help. The singer informed me on the phone that if it will affect his singing he will not allow me to do any therapy. He let it be known that he spent 55,000 dollars on voice training through the years and opera singers are trained to keep their tongue on the floor of the mouth. Maybe he swallows without getting his tongue to the roof of his mouth and pushes against his upper anteriors; I will see what the story really is. What are your thoughts?
Consider the following in regard to your question: How can maximizing lingual function and other orofacial musculature be detrimental to singing? While it might be prudent to have the tongue low in the mouth during operatic performances, we are training clients on proper tongue, lip and mandible position during rest. You can tell him that you will not be doing anything with his larynx. Although there is a Japanese study showing a negative effect on the larynx from ankyloglossia, this clearly is not relevant in this situation. Thus, I say “Go for it and help the man”…. (orofacial myology exam and appropriate treatment plan.)