Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley CA
Have you ever heard of a functional frenuloplasty procedure?This term may sound like a mouthful, but if you or someone you love has a tongue-tie, this procedure is your ticket to better oral health, improved breathing, and a better functioning tongue for chewing, speaking, and swallowing.
This blog will explore the science behind a tongue-tie, the consequences, and the importance of having that restriction released through afrenuloplasty available to children and adults in the Scotts Valley area.
Tongue-ties can have a major impact on your oral health
We each have a small band of tissue connecting our tongues to the floor of our mouths. This band is referred to as a frenum. Your mouth contains several frenums, which are located on the underside of your lips and cheeks. Sometimes, the frenum underneath the tongue—referred to as the lingual frenum—is too short, restricting the tongue’s range of motion as well as proper function such as when speaking, breathing, or swallowing.
The possible consequences of a tongue-tie include the following:
- Impaired development of speech, or a speech impediment
- For infants, problems latching during breastfeeding or failure to thrive
- An increased risk of developing a sleep breathing disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea
- Risk of developing problems related to temporomandibular joint disorder, including painful headaches or tightness in the head and neck
Good oral posture is important
Just as your parents probably told you to sit up straight and maintain proper posture, good oral resting posture goes a long way to maintaining oral health. This posture consists of having the lips together,teeth together, and the tongue resting gently against the palate. People who can maintain this resting posture breathe in the preferred method: by taking shallow breaths through the nose, as opposed to gulping air through the mouth or mouth breathing. This resting posture also helps maintain an open airway during sleep and prevents the development of a sleep breathing disorder.
An increasing body of medical research has found that a tongue-tie can be a significant precursor to sleep apnea, and that performing afrenuloplasty to release that tongue-tie gives the tongue a new range of motion, which could have been the source of the airway blockage.
Releasing a tongue-tie immediately improves your healthand well-being
Ideally, a person with a tongue-tie has it identified and released during infancy. The longer an individual lives with a restricted lingual frenum, the greater the likelihood they develop negative habits to compensate for the tongue’s diminished range of motion.
For infants, having a tongue-tie removed may restore their ability to breastfeed—and enjoy all the benefits that come with nursing.
For those individuals who have lived with a restricted frenum into adulthood, they often report feeling an instant release of tension following a frenuloplasty. They may identify the disappearance of a chronic pain they never realized was there until the frenuloplasty was performed.
Many times, simply releasing the tongue-tie is not enough
If you have been living with a tongue- tie, releasing the restriction does nothing to correct any negative habits that may have developed. This is why a frenuloplasty is most effective when combined with a course of myofunctional therapy in Scotts Valley. This therapy consists of a series of simple exercises that work the muscles of the mouth and face, as well as the tongue. These exercises may be slightly uncomfortable at first but usually can be completed without noticeable discomfort.
Frenuloplasty in Scotts Valley
At Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry, we are proud to be one of the select few dental practices in the Central Coast area of California that can perform a frenuloplasty while also offering myofunctional therapy. The interdisciplinary approach of our dentists, Dr. Max and Dr. Ariana Ebrahimian,allows treatment to take place in collaboration with skilled oral surgeons and our very own in-house myofunctional therapist, producing the best possible patient outcomes.
To learn more about how the team at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry can identify and remove a tongue-tie, call (831) 438-4411 to schedule a consultation.
Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry is here to serve patients in the areas of Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, and Scotts Valley in California.