TONGUE - TIE
Tongue - Tie Therapy
The disorder known as a “tongue-tie” is a good example of how something that seems relatively harmless can have dramatic effects on our health and well-being. Let’s look at what this condition actually is and then talk about the benefits of tongue-tie therapy.
Beneath the tongue, from the floor of the mouth to the middle of the underside of the tongue, there is a thin section of tissue known as the lingual frenulum, or the tongue web. When this tissue has developed normally, it allows for complete and correct tongue movement with no interference in speech, swallowing, eating and other tongue-based functions.
In some individuals, the tongue web is abnormally short or otherwise deformed, causing tongue movement to be restricted. A tongue-tie (medical name ankyloglossia) without correct diagnosis, medical intervention and appropriate tongue-tie therapy, can lead to many health problems including:
Difficulties with speech
Chronic pain in the head and neck
Poor dental occlusion
Tongue-tie therapy will not heal or remove a malformed tongue web, but rather it is initiated as an adjunct to the minor surgical process required to remedy the condition.
Benefits of Tongue -Tie Therapy
As a myofunctional therapist, my practice involves assessing issues with the tongue and its ability to move optimally. It’s amazing how many people have a tongue-tie and don’t know it. In many of these cases, it’s a myofunctional therapist who first discovers it and then refers the patient to a medical doctor or dentist for an official diagnosis.
If a surgical procedure is ordered, tongue-tie therapy exercises should begin several weeks prior and continue several weeks after, with the goal of teaching the tongue new habits and movement patterns that will lead to correct tongue function. The exercises are also very important in that they discourage malformed tongue tissue from growing back.