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Being tongue-tied isn’t just a figure of speech. It’s a very real medical condition that can affect oral and facial development and have a range of other serious health consequences.
Tongue-Tie & Breast Feeding
Breastfeeding is one of the first ways a tongue tie can be noticed. When mothers have trouble breastfeeding, a tongue tie can often be to blame. However, if babies are bottle-fed, or meet weight-gain and growth markers, the tongue-tie can be missed or overlooked.
Just because a mother managed to breastfeed her baby doesn’t mean that tongue-tie isn’t an issue. Many times, a nurse or lactation consultant will notice a tongue tie but not recommend a release because the baby is gaining weight.
From a myofunctional perspective, the tongue tie still needs to be released so that proper oral-facial and skeletal development can take place.
Treating a Tongue-Tie
Typically, a tongue-tie must be treated surgically. This procedure is called a frenectomy. Serenity Valley Family Dentistry has been doing these frenectomy procedures since 2017 using either Solea® laser or traditional surgical methods.
There’s more to treating a tongue-tie than just releasing it, and this is where myofunctional therapy comes in.
It’s very important to do myofunctional therapy exercises for at least two to three weeks before the frenectomy. This helps prepare for the procedure by strengthening the muscles of the tongue which means less surgical complications and better healing after surgery.
After the frenectomy, caring for the wound is also critical. The mouth and tongue heal rapidly, so it’s possible that the tongue will reattach, meaning it will literally heal back down the way it was. We will meet with you immediately following the release to guide you through caring for the wound and to demonstrate the gentle exercises necessary to keep your range of motion gained from surgery. This allows the tissues to heal without restrictions and affecting the end result.
What is a Lip-Tie?
A lip-tie is similar to a tongue-tie, and the two are often seen together.
With lip-ties, the small seams that we all have on the midline between our lips and gums are too short or thick, causing restricted lip movement. This can have a major impact on breastfeeding and speech, as well as dental development.
At Serenity Valley Family Dentistry, lip-ties are treated the same way as a tongue tie; the tie is surgically released, and myofunctional therapy exercises are prescribed.