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Tongue Ties and Mandibular Growth

Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy
A baby holding onto its mother

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Is your child living with a tongue-tie? The term for this is restricted lingual frenulum. This occurs when the tissue connecting the tongue to the floor of the mouth is thick and restrictive, resulting in limited range of motion as well as many other potentially harmful consequences. A restricted lingual frenulum can impact the development of the face, speech, jaw, and tooth alignment and more.

Early effects of tongue ties in infants and children can include:

  • Difficulty latching while nursing
  • Problems bonding with the mother
  • Feeding too frequently
  • Problems eating, chewing, and swallowing food
  • Issues with speech development
  • Sleep concerns
  • Craniofacial alteration in growth of maxilla and mandible.

Early detection of a tongue tie is important to minimalize the negative effects on growth. Tongue restriction heavily influences jaw growth and development and class II malocclusions. The lower jaw is not able to develop because the restriction of the tongue stops growth of the mandible.

The treatment for a tongue tie is a frenectomy or frenotomy, with orofacial myology (muscle training), prior and after the tongue release. These procedures are minimally invasive and is performed to cut the lingual frenulum or completely remove it. It is best performed early in children and babies to prevent growth and development problems that may occur. According to reports, the frenotomy is best performed in the first week of the child’s life.

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