Have You Or Someone You Love Been Tongue-Tied?
You’ve probably heard of the term “tongue-tied.” Did you know that this common expression comes from an actual medical condition that can inhibit speech? The tongue is attached (or tied) to the base of the mouth by a thin tissue web called the lingual frenum. For some people, the frenum is unusually thick or tight, restricting tongue movement and, therefore, speech. It can also negatively affect nursing in infants.
A tongue-tie can lead to:
- Feeding difficulties and dental development (especially in children).
- Speech difficulties, especially for sounds that require tongue elevation, such as: s, z, t, d, l, r.
- Saliva management during speech and or eating.
- Frenum scraping against the lower central incisors, and at times becoming pinched.
- The inability to sweep the lips, which is common while eating an ice cream cone or in licking your lips.
- In an attempt to compensate for the lack of tongue movement, some children demonstrate an increase in lateral or forward mandibular movement.
A Frenectomy Remedies Tongue-Tie
When someone is tongue-tied, our doctors may recommend cutting back the frenum a little bit. This is called a lingual frenectomy. It’s a common and simple procedure that can be done right here in our practice. Whether you’re an adult who wants to untie your tongue or a lingual frenectomy has been recommended for your child, we would like to give you an idea of what to expect from this procedure. It may sound intimidating, but it’s actually very simple most of the time. The frenum doesn’t have nerves or muscle; it’s simply a connective tissue fibrous attachment kind of like an earlobe. The procedure usually takes under 30 minutes in most circumstances. Myofunctional therapy often is done in conjunction with a frenectomy. This is an area of care where specific exercises are used to help the muscles “learn” where they are supposed to be and train the tongue to develop correct posturing. Since the tongue has been tied down it now needs to learn the correct posture is in the roof of the mouth and not sitting low preventing the upper jaw from developing properly in children if left untreated.
Put Your Tongue-Tied Days Behind You At RR Dentistry
Dr. Ryan Roberson and Dr. Cory Roach would like you to know a lingual frenectomy is nothing to be nervous about. If you think a lingual frenectomy may help you or a family member, let us know! Give us a call at (512) 869-5997 or email us with any questions regarding a lingual frenectomy.