Have you ever looked on the underside of your tongue? There is a thin piece of tissue known as the frenum that tethers the tongue to the floor of the mouth. However, in some cases, the frenum is too restrictive, which results in a limited motion of the tongue. This condition is referred to as a tongue-tie and must be treated to prevent developmental issues as a child grows.
The doctors at Miami Myofunctional Therapy Center want you to know what a tongue-tie is, and how we can treat it without any cutting, and no sutures required.
Why is untreated tongue-tie an issue?
An untreated tongue-tie can result in issues from day one. In infants, a tongue-tie can lead the baby’s inability to latch to their mother’s breast, which means the baby may become fussy and gassy as a result of sucking in too much air and not get enough milk. The baby may even suffer from a failure to thrive. As a result, the new mother may struggle to breastfeed her baby, and eventually give up and supplement with formula.
As the child grows, issues such as crooked teeth, mouth breathing, speech development issues, and more may result if a tongue-tie is present. It does not stop there, adults who have lived decades or more with a tongue-tie may develop sleep apnea, gum disease, speech impediments, and difficulty swallowing food or have a strong gag reflex. Due to the long-term effects of a tongue-tie, it is best to have it diagnosed and treated right away.
The doctors at Miami Myofunctional Therapy Center are trained and experienced in diagnosing tongue-ties. A simple evaluation of your child’s mouth will be used to provide a diagnosis.
A frenectomy is a simple procedure that uses a precise dental laser to release the restricted frenum. Without using a scalpel or sutures, the tissue is cauterized by the dental laser, which minimizes bleeding, and results in shorter recovery time. In many infant tongue-tie releases, the procedure does not even require anesthesia since it takes only a couple of minutes to release the tissue. For breastfeeding infants, many will immediately want to nurse after the procedure, which we encourage. You may begin seeing an improvement in your baby’s latch right away, although some nursing mothers may need to consult with a lactation consultant to help retrain their baby on latching properly.
What to do after a frenectomy
Since the tongue will have newfound freedom, it will need to be trained to function and rest properly. This is especially the case for children or adults that have already adapted negative oral habits such as improper tongue positioning and swallowing patterns. Myofunctional therapy uses specially designed exercises for the tongue and mouth to achieve this retraining technique. Only a certified myofunctional therapist can prescribe and monitor a course of myofunctional therapy.
Frenectomy in Coral Gables
If you believe that your child may have a tongue-tie, we invite you to schedule a consultation with us at Miami Myofunctional Therapy Center by calling (305) 595-4616. Help your baby avoid the long-term effects of a tongue-tie and receive treatment today!
Miami Myofunctional Therapy Center welcomes patients from Coral Gables and Miami, Florida.