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What is Tongue-Tie?

Everyone has a band of tissue underneath the tongue that attaches it to the bottom of your mouth called frenulum. When the band is smaller, shorter it makes the movement of the tongue restricted, unable to function properly it is referred to as tongue-tie (can be on your lips and cheeks too). This affects children and adults of all ages. Releasing a tongue-tie is an important part of not only dental health, but overall health!

WHY

DOES IT MATTER?

The tongue’s correct place is in the roof of the mouth. Here it acts as nature’s retainer to keep the natural structure of the jaw. The tongue keeps the top arch in correct shape so the teeth grow straight and your face develops properly.

When the tongue is tied/restricted it stays in the lower part of the mouth, resting between the teeth or at the bottom of the mouth. Mouth breathing develops along with other myofunctional problems and symptoms (jaw pain, anxiety, grinding, headaches, orthodontic issues). Studies show children with tongue-ties are more likely to develop sleep apnea and airway issues.[1]

Infants with tongue-tie have difficulty breastfeeding, latching, jaw and dental development, breathing, chewing, swallowing and digestion.[2]

TREATING A TONGUE-TIE IS SIMPLE WHEN YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TEAM!

As a Myofunctional therapist I have been trained to identify the correct and proper function of the tongue. Many providers are unaware to properly evaluate tongue restriction since it is not part of dental (hygiene) curriculum. This is where I collaborate with the referring provider to confirm and assist in pre- and post op care of the tongue since the movement and function will be foreign.

HOW THERAPY WORKS FOR TONGUE-TIE?

PRE-OP EXERCISE

This is critical part of success, Myofunctional therapist will prescribe exercise to strengthen and prepare the muscles of the tongue for the new range of motion.

FRENECTOMY

Minor surgical removal of the band holding down the tongue, called frenectomy or frenulectomy . It’s simple fast, painless, quick procedure done by scalpel or laser. Finding an experienced doctor to perform this is key!

WOUND CARE

The mouth is a quick healer. Keeping the area from infection is important to success. If the wound is not properly managed the tongue will reattach back to the way it was before.

MYOFUNCTIONAL THERAPY

New movement of the tongue needs to be rehabilitated and strengthened after the release. The tongue and facial muscles need to be retrained to function properly. Myofunctional therapy is required, just like physical therapy only for the mouth.

Please contact me for any questions you may have about what’s going on in your mouth!I am happy to provide a complimentary consultation to see if Myofunctional therapy will improve your health!

myooralhealth@gmail.com or 509-420-0884

[1] https://www.speareducation.com/spear-review/2017/08/the-tongues-role-in-pediatric-sleep-disorders-and-skeletal-growth-and-development

[2] http://feedthebabyllc.com/tongue-and-lip-tie/