Estimates are that about 10% of babies are born with tongue-tie, a condition that restricts tongue movement, affecting eating and speaking. At Strategies for Success in Los Gatos, California, Nicole Cavalea, MS, CCC-SLP, and the team provide orofacial treatment services to support the pre and post-procedure tongue-tie release. They also help strengthen and retrain orofacial muscles following surgery for tongue-tie. For expert care from highly skilled speech-language pathologists, and orofacial myologists, call the office or schedule your tongue-tie consultation online today. Virtual visits are also available.
Tongue-tie, also called ankyloglossia, is a condition in which you have limited tongue movement because of a short or tight lingual frenulum — the thin strip of tissue that attaches your tongue to the bottom of your mouth.
The short or tight lingual frenulum restricts the movement of the tongue, making it hard to swallow and speak. Tongue-tie is most often found in newborns and young children, however, this is a treatable issue that often goes undiagnosed.
Though the condition tends to run in families, anyone can have a tongue-tie.
Signs and symptoms of tongue-tie may depend on how short or tight the lingual frenulum is and the age of discovery. A newborn with a tongue-tie may have a hard time breastfeeding. They may struggle to latch on and feed for long periods of time. They may also make a clicking sound when feeding.
In children, tongue-tie symptoms can cause many other oral problems such as speech issues, neck and back pain, sleep-disordered breathing, airway dysfunction, TMD (temporomandibular dysfunction), and feeding and swallowing difficulties. Your child may have a hard time producing sounds that require contact of the tongue to the roof of the mouth, like “t,” “d”, “l,” “n,” “ch,” and “sh,” to name a few.
If left untreated, Adults with tongue-tie may experience sleep and breathing issues, neck, back and shoulder pain, migraine headaches, TMD/TMJD, and continual misalignment of teeth.
Myofunctional therapy is one of the primary treatments for tongue-tie. Strategies for Success provides orofacial/myofunctional therapy for children and adults with tongue-tie and following lingual frenectomy.
Tongue-tie affects the development of the orofacial muscles, which can lead to problems with swallowing, speech, and breathing. Myofunctional therapy strengthens and retrains these muscles to restore muscle balance and orofacial function.
The team at Strategies for Success first conducts a comprehensive evaluation for tongue-tie to understand your or your child’s needs and goals. They review medical history, examine the mouth and tongue, and observe tongue movement and swallowing.
After the evaluation, your provider at Strategies for Success creates a personalized speech therapy plan that addresses your or your child’s unique needs. The plan may include myofunctional therapy, which is a specialized program that improves tongue movement and swallowing.
The team schedules regular therapy sessions and may give you or your child exercises to do at home. They have extensive experience working with babies and children and make therapy fun.
To schedule a tongue-tie evaluation at Strategies for Success, call the office or book one online today.