Tongue tie, also known as ankyloglossia, is a condition that occurs when the lingual frenulum – the small piece of skin that connects the bottom of the tongue to the bottom of the mouth – is too thick, too short, or attached too far up on the tongue. This may be caused by genetics. The band stays connected as the child grows because it’s unusually short or thick, creating a tightness to the tongue that limits its mobility.
In cases of tongue tie, the lingual frenulum restricts the motion of the tongue. There is evidence-based research to show the impact of restricted tongue range of motion on the under-development of the upper jaw.
Tongue tie is also associated with chronic mouth breathing, nasal congestion, and obstructive sleep apnea.
Dr. Luong treats tongue tie in both children and adults. The most common treatment for tongue tie is a surgery called a lingual frenuloplasty.
Dr. Luong’s technique for lingual frenuloplasty is based on precision; releasing the appropriate amount of tissue for maximal relief – not too much, and not too little.
Alongside surgery, Dr. Luong integrates myofunctional therapy. Addressing the compensatory muscular and joint tension through manual therapy can significantly help optimize rehabilitation in cases of tongue tie.
Myofunctional therapy is a treatment for the muscles of the face, tongue, lips, jaw, and neck as it relates to breathing, posture, chewing, swallowing, speech, and dental occlusion.
Myofunctional therapy involves strengthening the tongue and orofacial muscles by teaching individuals how to reposition muscles to the appropriate posture.
Individuals with predominant mouth breathing or insufficient habitual nasal breathing often develop maladaptive habits and patterns of orofacial function. These bad habits may impact various conditions, including improper facial skeletal growth, sleep-disordered breathing, nasal obstruction, oral hygiene and dental problems, teeth grinding, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, neck and shoulder tension, speech problems, facial esthetics, and more.
Proper diagnosis allows for targeted and effective physical therapy exercises for oral posture retraining. These exercises promote better health with goals to improve breathing, reduce pain, and enhance the quality of life.
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Getting tongue-tie release makes it easier for the tongue to participate in regular jaw movements. This can not only help the jaw move more smoothly, but it can also take the burden off of other muscles. Painful tension will decrease, reducing or eliminating sore muscles.
Our goal is to allow patients of all ages to breathe, eat, sleep, and move better so that they can be the best version of themselves!
At Elements Dental Spa – Baton Rouge Dentist & Aesthetics Spa, our doctors perform a very thorough new patient exam to evaluate you for evidence of a tongue-tie, airway or TMJ issues, and any other dental issues you may have.