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The Importance for Myofunctional Therapy Prior to a Tongue Tie Release

The Importance for Myofunctional Therapy Prior to a Tongue Tie Release, From the Point of View of a Release Provider

If you have been experiencing discomfort or difficulty with tasks such as eating, speaking, or even breathing, it is possible that you may have a condition known as tongue tie. Tongue tie, also known as ankyloglossia, is a condition where the tissue connecting the tongue to the floor of the mouth is too tight, restricting the tongue’s movement. This can lead to various problems and affect your overall quality of life.  Oftentimes, a dental professional, speech language therapist or chiropractor in the Twin Cities Metro Area has brought this up as a potential concern for you.


In recent years, there has been a growing awareness about tongue tie in Minnesota, and around the world, and its potential impact on proper oral function. As a result, more and more people are seeking to ask if they have a tongue tie, and if they do, what is a solution to this issue. One of the most popular and effective methods for treating tongue tie is a procedure called a frenectomy, which involves releasing the tight tissue connecting the tongue.  Dr. Geisler is experienced in a technique called a functional frenuloplasty, started by Dr. Zahgi with The Breathe Institute.  In this procedure, the tongue is numbed and the extent of the release of tethered tissues is determined by functional assessments before and during the procedure.


While the frenectomy procedure itself is important, it is essential to understand that the tongue and its movement patterns are influenced by oral muscles. Therefore, addressing the underlying dysfunctional movement patterns is crucial for a successful outcome. This is where myofunctional therapy (MFT) comes into play.  This therapy is correctly named Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT).  However, in this blog we will refer to it as MFT.


Myofunctional therapy is a form of exercise that targets the muscles of the face, tongue, and neck. It aims to restore balance and proper function to these muscles, which can be compromised due to tongue tie or other oral issues. By working with a trained myofunctional therapist, patients can retrain their muscles to achieve proper posture, swallowing, and breathing techniques.


Prior to undergoing a frenectomy, it is critical to engage in myofunctional therapy. Here are a few reasons why this is important:


  1. Optimize the Outcome: Myofunctional therapy helps prepare the muscles for the frenectomy procedure. By improving muscle strength and coordination, it enhances the chances of a successful outcome. The results are only great when the muscles are properly trained before and after a tongue tie release.


  1. Speed up Recovery: Myofunctional therapy can help speed up the healing process post-frenectomy. By strengthening the muscles and improving their function, patients can experience quicker recovery times and a reduced risk of complications.


  1. Prevent Relapse: Without addressing the underlying muscle dysfunction, there is a higher risk of relapse or the tongue tie reattaching after the release. Myofunctional therapy helps ensure that the muscles regain the necessary strength and coordination to maintain proper tongue posture after the procedure.


  1. Improve Oral Function: Myofunctional therapy goes beyond just addressing the tongue tie. It helps improve overall oral function by retraining muscles involved in chewing, swallowing, and speaking. This leads to a more functional and efficient oral system, allowing individuals to enjoy improved quality of life and better overall health.


It is important to note that myofunctional therapy is not a substitute for a frenectomy procedure. Rather, it is a complementary therapy that enhances the effectiveness and long-term success of the procedure. If you are considering a frenectomy for tongue tie, please understand that it is not a stand alone procedure.  After a lot of experience, and a lot of advanced education on the subject, Dr. Geisler has made this a requirement before a release is planned, due to its importance in a great result.  Look for a qualified myofunctional therapist who can assess your oral function and develop a customized therapy plan. Oftentimes, the letters “COM” are after their credentials, indicating a high level of training and evaluation by the therapists’ peers.  Oftentimes, the therapist is a Speech Language Pathologist or a Licensed Dental Hygienist.  Remember, the key to a successful outcome lies in addressing both the physical restriction of tongue tie and the underlying muscle dysfunction.


In addition to myofunctional therapy, incorporating whole body bodywork can further enhance the improvement of oral function. Whole body bodywork, such as chiropractic care or craniosacral therapy, focuses on addressing the alignment and function of the entire body.


It is important to recognize that the tongue is not an isolated muscle – it is connected to the rest of the body through a complex web of soft tissues, fascia, and muscles. By addressing any imbalances or restrictions in the body, whole body bodywork can optimize the effectiveness of myofunctional therapy and the frenectomy procedure.


Here are a few reasons why incorporating whole body bodywork is crucial for improving oral function:


  1. Alignment and Posture: Proper alignment and posture play a significant role in the function of the tongue and the entire oral system. Whole body bodywork can help identify and correct any imbalances or misalignments that may contribute to tongue tie or muscle dysfunction. By restoring optimal alignment, it allows the tongue and surrounding muscles to function more efficiently.


  1. Tissue Mobility: Restricted movement in the body can impact the movement and function of the tongue as well. Whole body bodywork techniques, such as myofascial release, can release tension and adhesions in the soft tissues, allowing for improved mobility and flexibility. This, in turn, enhances the effectiveness of myofunctional therapy exercises and supports the success of a frenectomy procedure.


  1. Nervous System Function: The nervous system plays a crucial role in coordinating muscle function and overall body function. Techniques used in whole body bodywork, such as craniosacral therapy, can help regulate and optimize the function of the nervous system. This can have a positive impact on the coordination and control of oral muscles, promoting proper swallowing, chewing, and speaking patterns.


By integrating whole body bodywork with myofunctional therapy and a frenectomy procedure, individuals can achieve more comprehensive and lasting results. It ensures that the entire body is functioning optimally, creating a solid foundation for improved oral function and overall well-being.


If you are seeking treatment for tongue tie, consider the benefits of incorporating whole body bodywork into your care plan. Dr. Geisler collaborates with a qualified chiropractors, craniosacral therapists, and other bodywork professionals (such as physical therapist and occupational therapists) who can assess your body’s alignment and provide appropriate treatment. By addressing the body as a whole, you can optimize the outcomes of myofunctional therapy and tongue tie release, leading to improved function and a higher quality of life.