Tongue-Tie (Ankyloglossia)

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Tongue-Tie (Ankyloglossia)

Tongue ties and lip ties are identified often when a child or an adult comes in for an evaluation.  There can be a tremendous negative impact on function.  It can effect a person differently as they age.  A lingual restriction and/or an upper lip tie may cause difficulty with breastfeeding, causing discomfort to the mother or the inability to draw milk from the breast.  As a person grows, a  tongue-tie can result in low and forward tongue resting posture, change the oroskeletal development of the mouth, contribute to high narrow palates, crowded teeth, elongated and narrowed faces and make it difficult to prepare food in the mouth for the transfer to the back of the mouth and swallow.  It can cause difficulties with speech production. It can contribute to obstructive sleep apnea, and tempomandibular joint disorders.

A frenectomy or frenotomy may be performed to release the restriction.  If a laser frenectomy is performed, it is important to have an oromyofunctional therapist provide instruction on exercises for several sessions prior to the release, unless they are a newborn.  Therapy would then follow either type of surgical release to provide stretches and tongue movement patterns that help the tongue with range of motion and  patterns for feeding and swallowing, and speech if needed, and varying with their age and ability.  

For more information, go to the IATP or the IAOM.  

Books related to tongue-tie (ankyloglossia):

Alison Hazelbaker “Tongue-Tie:  Morphogenesis, Impact, Assessment and Treatment”

Carmen Fernando “Tongue Tie From Confusion to Clarity”