A Controversial Topic: Tongue Rolling and Folding

Tongue Tie Can Effect The Tongue Shape and Tongue Rolling Become Easier!

Tongue Rolling and Folding

Interestingly, some people can turn their tongues into a tube, and some people can't. You can think of it as a simple situation. This may be one of the most common traits they use to illustrate basic genetic principles in textbooks. However, it remains a controversial issue. Ask people around you, you can see that not everyone can.

Rolling and folding of people in tongue has attracted the attention of many researchers because of their characteristics. Some people can roll their tongue, others can't. Similarly, some people can fold their tongue, while others can double their tongue. There are reports of some parents who have children who cannot roll their tongues but have the ability to roll out their tongues, which twins cannot necessarily share.

Sturtevant (1940) described this situation as two classes, "roller" and "non-roller" the roller phenotype being dominant. Sturtevant (1965), however, noted that Matlock found a high incidence of non-compliance in monozygotic twins and that there was little genetic basis for the trait. Hsu (1948) described the ability of folding the tongue tip as recessively. Liu and Hsu (1949) and Lee (1955) demonstrated the independence of the two traits.There are many details can be found on the studies abour "genetic explanation of tongue rolling". Apart from genetic causes, one's tongue can affect his or her ability to make certain tongue forms and movements.

Tongue tie (ankyloglossia) and "more foldable" tongue!

However, I want to share different information about "tongue rolling".  I have seen that my patients who had 4 different tongue ties made the tongue rolling movement easily. In patients with tongue tie (especially in patients with posterior tongue tie), the lateral edges of the tongue may become more pronounced and become flatter than normal as a result of tongue development. In this way, tongue rolling or tongue folding may become easier than usual. While Tongue's movement in the vertical plane is restricted, the tonguin's lateral growth may have resulted in a "more foldable" tongue.

In patients who were previously diagnosed with tongue tie and underwent tongue tie release surgery after a period of time, tongue rolling may become more feasible in relation to structural changes in tongue. Comprehensive scientific studies are needed on this subject. Even though it is not evidence-based; I wanted to add because the topic is interesting.

The patient seen in the above video, 4-year-old "tongue tie release surgery" and how easily "tongue rolling" is seen. Tongue edges are prominent, wider than normal tongue and almost tube shape.

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Murat Enoz, MD, Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgeon - ENT Doctor in Istanbul

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