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Untangling Tongue Ties

Feeling a bit tongue-tied? Well, it’s not just an expression. Tongue tie is a real condition (also known as ankyloglossia) that affects upward of 5 percent of people. Tongue tie is present at birth, but sometimes it can be missed and not corrected in the patient as a baby, causing problems throughout childhood and adulthood. Problems associated with tongue ties in adults include:

  • Difficulty speaking
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Headaches, including migraine headaches
  • Problems sleeping, including sleep apnea and snoring
  • Teeth grinding
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Mumbling
  • Needing speech therapy or having a speech delay in childhood
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Acid reflux or other GI issues

Symptoms in babies include:

  • Problems latching during breastfeeding
  • Chewing instead of sucking
  • Problems gaining weight
  • Eating in long stretches, taking a break and then eating more
  • Crankiness while feeding
  • Difficulty feeding
  • Constant hunger

What Causes Tongue Tie?

Tongue tie develops during pregnancy when the fetus’s lingual frenulum fails to separate the tongue from the floor of the mouth. It is often genetic and usually affects more male than female babies.

How Do You Treat It?

Tongue-tie treatment is a relatively quick and easy procedure that has been perfected over the years. Usually, Dr. Morgan will make an incision on the lingual frenulum and loosen the connective tissue. This requires a scalpel and sutures, but the procedure site heals quickly and most patients don’t find the discomfort following the procedure unbearable. 

In recent years, Dr. Morgan has begun to use a laser to perform frenectomies. The laser is faster and causes less discomfort than traditional frenectomy methods. However, that being said, you may still require the scalpel and suture method, depending on the severity of your tongue tie. 

Dr. Morgan will discuss your best course of treatment at your frenectomy consultation.

Myofunctional Therapy

If you have a tongue tie, you may have heard about myofunctional therapy. But what exactly is myofunctional therapy? Well, think of it this way: Myofunctional therapy is like physical therapy for your mouth. Myofunctional therapy trains the mouth to move and work properly. It can be prescribed both before and after a frenectomy procedure.  

When Will I Need Myofunctional Therapy?

It depends on your individual tongue tie, but you may require myofunctional therapy either before or after your frenectomy – or both before and after!

Attending myofunctional therapy before your frenectomy benefits you by strengthening your tongue before your frenectomy procedure. This will make it easier after your procedure to use your tongue properly, as years of using it improperly may cause some speech and other issues. This is why Dr. Morgan often prescribes myofunctional therapy after a frenectomy procedure as well. Myofunctional therapy can help you chew and speak more clearly, one of the major goals of undergoing a frenectomy in the first place.

 More Benefits to Frenectomies

If you have a tongue tie, you may have noticed that you breathe through your mouth more frequently than you do through your nose. This can cause dry mouth and an increase in cavities and bad breath, not to mention the awkwardness of mouth breathing in certain social situations. A frenectomy can help to correct this problem.

Myofunctional therapy, in conjunction with a frenectomy, can also help you keep your tongue and lips positioned properly, which can improve the appearance of your face. It can also help you chew and swallow properly, allowing you to try more new foods you may have shied away from when your tongue was tied. It will also strengthen the tongue, which, as we mentioned previously, can help with proper speech and pronunciation.

Are You Ready To Treat Your Tongue Tie?

Living with a tongue tie at any age can cause many medical issues, including difficulty eating and chewing, difficulty speaking, and pain and discomfort throughout the upper body. Treating your tongue tie with a frenectomy and myofunctional therapy is an excellent solution to these frustrating problems.

If you suffer from a tongue tie, or you suspect that you may have a tongue tie, speak to Dr. Morgan today about treating your tongue tie with a frenectomy accompanied by myofunctional therapy. For a consultation, please contact Dr. Tad Morgan’s office today.