Who knew that we had fat in our tongues? It is definitely not a well-known fact among the general public, but it has become a topic of conversation in recent studies. Understanding the symptoms and causes of a larger tongue can help to determine whether or not it is affecting your sleep schedule negatively. 

Where does this stem from?

Obesity has been linked to sleep apnea, and typically people who have been diagnosed with obesity tend to have larger tongues. Thus, creating a restricted airflow while sleeping. With a larger tongue, the back of the throat is not as open as it should be. This causes people to stop breathing in their sleep, a condition known as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is treatable, but if the problem lies in the size of your tongue, there may be different ways to fix your sleep apnea altogether. 

How can you slim down the fat in your tongue? 

Weight loss in general is difficult, so it’s hard to imagine cutting down the weight in your tongue. Seems humanly impossible, in some cases! There are no weights to lift to train your tongue and no aerobic exercises to keep your tongue slim and toned, so it can be quite difficult to cut the fat down. The standard route is to use a CPAP machine, which stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. This machine is worn at night, and it aids in the flow of air through your nose and mouth.

Surprisingly, losing weight in general can help your tongue lose weight too. Studies show that those who are actively working to lose weight have experienced weight loss in their tongue as well. Your whole body is connected, so working on one area will positively impact other areas without even trying! 

New methods in the field

There are new methods making their way into the medical world for fat trimming on the tongue. Methods such as CoolSculpting, which is currently only performed on stomach fat, may be entering the tongue-slimming practice. More research is required, but medical professionals are determined to help those who struggle with larger tongues. 

Contact Dr. Sara at AZ Sleep & TMJ Solutions in Scottsdale to learn more about your risk for sleep apnea as well as what treatment options are available.