In our work we see a significant number of children and adults with restricted tongues or lips or “tongue / lip ties”. A tie limits the movement of the tongue so that the other muscles of the face have to adapt during speech and swallowing. Many children have a restricted lips or tongue that is not picked up early as they have been able to adapt their speech and swallowing at an early age. Tongue / lip tie is defined as ankyloglossia or a frenum. We assess the impact of the tongue tie and if necessary offer tongue / lip tie release procedure
WHAT IS A TONGUE OR LIP TIE?
A congenital abnormality which decreases the mobility of the tongue or the lip.
The frenum (the bit that causes the tie) is a normal part of the anatomy but it can be too thick or too short. Defective frenums lead to a restriction in the range of motion of the tongue or lip.
WHAT CAN A LIP OR TONGUE RELEASE HELP WITH?
What Lip or Tongue Release Help With Infants: Breast feeding difficulties or painful breast feeding, colic, mouth breathing Children: Growth of the face and jaws, preventing crooked teeth and speech difficulties All ages: Speech difficulties, breathing dysfunction - such as mouth breathing, snoring and sleep apnoea and correcting of soft tissue dysfunction (abnormal swallowing habits)
In adult patients, the tongue-tie can manifest itself as chronic TMJ, headaches/migraines, head and neck tightness, snoring and sleep apnoea as well as chiropractic adjustment that won't hold.
Unfortunately, many symptoms related to tongue-tie are often attributed to other issues or ignored altogether, even in adults. To properly evaluate the presence or severity of a tongue-tie, a physical exam by an experienced Orofacial Myofunctional Therapist is necessary.
Tongue posture and mobility are central pillars of overall health and wellness. Tongue-ties cripple this from birth and serve as a nearly invisible cause of pain and discomfort. Myofunctional therapy has proven remarkably effective at preventing and eliminating the symptoms of tongue-tie, regardless of age or severity.
Benefits to Expect after Tongue Tie/Lip Tie Surgery
Tongue tie and lip tie surgery is a relatively simple, quick, and painless procedure. Your baby can nurse as soon as he/she desires to do so after the surgery, however, it may take 45-60 minutes for any numbing medication to wear off.
Most babies show an immediate improvement in breastfeeding, although you should not be alarmed if your baby is hesitant the first day while he/she learns a new breastfeeding technique. Some mothers follow up with a lactation consultant for advice on the new nursing method.
Postoperative stretching will aid in preventing reattachment of the frenulum, as the mouth heals very quickly. Your pediatric dentist will provide you with age-appropriate stretching exercises to enhance your child’s speedy recovery from tongue tie or lip tie laser surgery. The postoperative stretches are simplistic and can be incorporated into a play session. Early intervention is key in many cases, especially if nursing difficulties exist.
Because tongue tie and lip tie can affect dental and jaw development and cause airway restrictions, tongue/lip release surgery will benefit any child or adult alike.
A proper diagnosis of the severity of tongue-tie is vital for long term health and wellness. It's a treatable condition that's best caught early to avoid years of pain and discomfort. If you feel like you or your child is being affected by a tongue tie or lip tie and would like to arrange a consultation with an Orofacial Myofunctional Therapist at Kromboom Dental Centre Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy and Airway Clinic, please call 021 6969428