Pre and Post Frenectomy Therapy
We provide pre and post frenectomy (i.e. tongue release) myofunctional therapy. Our therapy helps re-educate the tongue and orofacial muscles during movement and at rest to create new neuromuscular patterns for proper oral function, including chewing, swallowing, speaking, and breathing. We want our clients who are considering a frenectomy for themselves or a loved one to understand that the best outcomes include therapy before and after this procedure.
How does myofunctional therapy help before and after a frenectomy?
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) or Oromyofunctional Therapy is a series of exercises of the lips, jaw, tongue, cheeks and palate designed to re-pattern the oral and facial muscles to promote proper tongue position, improve proper breathing, chewing and swallowing.
Therapy is important before a surgery in order to:
- build strength and stability
- improve range of motion
- prepare for exercises that will be needed post surgery
Therapy is important after a surgery in order to:
- promote post surgical healing
- maximize surgical outcomes
- continue to build strength and stability
- help the tongue to re-adapt to its newly found freedom
- promote proper tongue resting position
Imagine if your tongue had limited motion and was not fully functional for your entire life. Whether you are a child or adult, that is a relatively long time for your tongue to get used to its current state. Therapy will help to instill good patterns so that your surgery is a success.
Are there risks associated with having a frenectomy without myofunctional therapy?
Many individuals believe that treating a tongue tie is as simple as performing a frenectomy. However, because a tongue tie hinders the proper functioning of the mouth and tongue, correcting that dysfunction often requires therapy to train the tongue to function properly. Additionally, the longer this dysfunction, the greater the need for therapy. Consider an individual that is getting any kind of corrective procedure on any other part of the body and the kind of therapy required to allow for that part of the body to function again.
Additionally, we have seen the after effects of tongue tie releases that did not include therapy that have grown back worse or reverted back to their prior state AND continued dysfunction of the mouth and tongue. Some individuals will have to go back for a second tongue tie release if the tongue tie heals improperly and tethers the tongue even worse than before the frenectomy. This is exactly what myofunctional therapy can prevent and this is what we mean by better outcomes.
A frenectomy usually takes just a few minutes but full recovery from tongue tie may take several months. The time you invest in myofunctional therapy is worth it. A frenectomy will free a tongue but what havoc can this “small” problem create?
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