Tongue-tie is more often associated with a social problem, wherein a person is unable to speak fluently. However, the term is also used to refer to a medical condition.
What is a Tongue- Tie?
Ankyloglossia (the proper term for “tongue-tie”) tends to be a genetic condition, with a prevalence in 5 to 11 percent of children. The tongue is connected to the floor of the mouth with a membrane called the “frenum”. In some people, this membrane is very thick and short. A shorter frenum makes it difficult for the tongue to move freely while eating or speaking, and the body has no other choice but to find “new” patterns of movement. Tongue-tie varies in severity, with movement severely limited in some, and only slightly reduced in others.
Untreated Ankyloglossia can cause a number of myofunctional disfunctions:
- Open Mouth breathing
- Improper Swallowing
- Speech challenges
- TMJ Pain
- Neck Pain
- Tongue Thrust
- Eating, Drinking Problems
- Digestive Issues
- Facial Growing Alterations
- Risk for Sleep Apnea
- In children, untreated tongue-tie can cause gagging, choking, drooling, and difficulty eating, as well as delays in speech development
Tongue- Tie Therapy
Your doctor, using a laser or scalpel, will release the tethered oral tissue that is restricting tongue movement. This minor surgery is called a frenectomy. Your doctor will prescribe stretching exercises to prevent reattachment during healing. After the frenectomy, your tongue will have a bigger range of motion. Follow-up support with myofunctional therapy exercises is essential for training the tongue and associated muscles to properly function together.
My convenient online myofunctional therapy programs begin with a review of the clinical symptoms followed by a comprehensive exam. I then design customized treatment plans to exercise and train the tongue in proper positioning and functioning, thereby achieving correct placement of the tongue, along with muscle control required for proper swallowing, airway development in kids, sleep quality of all ages, and more.
As a trained and committed myofunctional therapist, my role is to help you overcome orofacial disorders and improve your physical health.
Contact me today to learn more about how myofunctional therapy can benefit you!
Book a 30-minute free consultation today.