Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy
The Importance of Pre- and Post- Frenectomy Therapy
It is strongly recommended that you consult with an orofacial myologist before your surgery. Pre-procedure, the orofacial myologist will assess your tongue tie and your function and will provide a personalized pre-op therapy plan to get you ready for your procedure. The muscles of the tongue have been restricted, sometimes for years, and they need to be properly prepared for a release. Pre-op strengthening is necessary when muscles are concerned. Think about the strengthening that is recommended before a knee replacement. Your tongue and orofacial muscles are no different. Without proper preparation, the release of your tongue tie may not be complete resulting in the inability to restore optimal function to the orofacial complex. If this were to happen, the only true remedy would be to have the release done again.
Post-procedure, the orofacial myologist prescribes home-based daily exercises to avoid scarring; ensuring the tongue remains long and flexible. Once the frenum is released by the surgeon, the tongue will be able to freely move around the oral cavity.
The muscles of the tongue will be unable to perform their proper functions from being anchored to the floor of the mouth. There are muscles that may have grown strong while compensating for the inability to use other muscles. Some muscles with have atrophied due to non-use. It is the job of your orofacial myologist to restore these muscles to optimum function, and what this looks like will vary from client to client. Specific exercises are given to restore the muscles of the tongue to assist the tongue moving vertically and achieving appropriate tongue resting postures. Achieving appropriate tongue resting posture, function of the muscles as a unit and recapturing the dental freeway space is essential.
Your orofacial myologist can also help to eliminate a tongue thrust that may
accompany a restricted lingual frenum. The tongue thrust habit forms over time as a way of the body trying to open the airway which has been restricted due to low tongue posture. Improved chewing and swallowing skills are important for a person of any age and will also come with a complete myofunctional therapy program.
Furthermore, the incorrect speech patterns, incorrect tongue placement at rest and swallowing functions will likely not correct themselves. Over the years, individuals with ankyloglossia develop strong abnormal habits to compensate for the tongue being attached on the floor of the mouth. A habit is not something easy to change, and most people do not know what the correct position should be. An orofacial myologist experienced with resting tongue posture can help you with learning correct placement for articulation, at rest, and while eating, drinking and swallowing.