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All of us remember at one time or another telling others that we were tongue-tied when we couldn’t get a word out. But the reality is that Tongue-Tie is a real condition that presents at birth and is called “Ankyloglossia.” It’s where an unusually short or tight band of tissue called the lingual frenum restricts the range of motion of the tongue. There are varying degrees of Tongue-Tie with some having severe restriction and limited movement while others only slightly reduced movement. As a result, the poor muscle function of the tongue in these patients can lead to feeding and speech problems, jaw problems such as TMJ, ear infections, mouth breathing development issues, and swallowing problems which can lead to digestive issues.
The first line of treatment today is a pretty simple surgery called a frenectomy. But before the frenectomy, it’s important to undergo myofunctional therapy to make the tongue-release surgery a success. During myofunctional therapy we teach exercises like normal tongue movements and upper lip exercises to prepare you for the coming changes. We also use CranioSacral Therapy (CST), as a gentle hands-on treatment technique that helps to holistically decrease tension patterns, and improve mobility and function. During CST, fascial restrictions are released, muscles lengthened, and bony realignment occurs. We show you how to do gentle stretches post-surgery to help. If your Tongue-Tie wasn’t diagnosed until you were an adult, you may have TMJ and other issues that need to be addressed through physical therapy and CST.
Babies need physical therapy too! Baby Joseph had been receiving treatment for Torticollis (twisted neck), plagiocephaly, & tongue-tie. Dr. Nancy had been working with him for awhile and he’s doing much better!