Scotts Valley and Santa Cruz, CA
If you are an adult that is considering a tongue-tie release or just underwent the procedure, what is your “game plan?” Releasing a tongue-tie by way of a frenectomy should be considered in most cases where a tongue-tie is present, but what about after the procedure is complete? Simply releasing the tongue-tie will not necessarily relieve you of all your oral health problems. Adults, especially, develop adaptive behaviors that pose negative consequences to their breathing, oral health, and oral posture.
Here’s what to consider if you are facing a frenectomy or recently underwent this procedure.
A tongue-tie is when the frenum, the thin tissue that connects the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth, is too short or too thick, which results in restricted movement of the tongue. Although this may not sound like a big deal, it actually is since limited movement can result in tongue thrust, poor oral posture, and mouth breathing, commonly referred to as orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMDs). Tongue-tie can also result in the need for orthodontics to correct gaps between the front teeth and straighten crooked or misaligned teeth. Even worse, the improper use of facial and oral muscles often result in a narrow airway, which causes sleep apnea. Some adults with an untreated tongue-tie even suffer from poor body posture that results in chronic neck or back pain – all stemming from their tongue-tie.
It is usually best to release a tongue-tie as early in life as possible, but sometimes it will go unnoticed for years. If you are an older child or an adult with a tongue-tie, chances are your mouth, and the rest of your body has long since adapted negative habits such as those related to OMDs, and these habits will not correct over time. The “wait and see” approach after a frenectomy is not advised. Instead, developing a “game plan” before the procedure is even done is much more ideal for a favorable outcome.
Following a frenectomy, a course of myofunctional therapy can aid in helping retrain the oral and facial muscles to rest and function properly. Simple stretching exercises and gently massaging under the tongue can help reduce the buildup of scar tissue and get the tongue used to moving with less restriction. For many adults, other restorative dentistry or orthodontics may be necessary to correct the cosmetic effects of a previous tongue-tie.
At Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry, we have a certified myofunctional therapist on staff that has experience working with patients of all ages. Myofunctional therapy can, and should only be prescribed by a certified therapist that will develop specific stretches and exercises for your case. It has proven beneficial for both children and adults, following a tongue-tie release. It is also important to adhere to your therapy to receive the most effective results.
For more information regarding tongue-tie releases, please contact Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry today at (831) 438-4411 to schedule an evaluation.
Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry provides total oral health care for patients located in the California communities of Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, and Scotts Valley.