The term “tongue tie” or ankyloglossia refers to the thick band of tissue under the tongue that is attached in a way that can prevent optimal function of the tongue. This can sometimes lead to associated issues in feeding, speech, swallowing, and for some, breathing issues. In infants, this condition can initially present with feeding challenges and as we get older, it often presents itself more with mouth breathing, speech delays or need for speech therapy, clenching/ grinding of teeth, and sometimes, muscular pain in the head and neck region.
Because the tongue does not have adequate range of motion or function, nearby muscles often compensate for the restriction. Once an evaluation and diagnosis are made, a treatment plan is formulated that may involve multiple specialties to achieve optimal results. This may include collaboration with a myofunctional therapist to help retrain the muscles and achieve proper tongue placement, and/ or ENT if needed.
The procedure involves local anesthesia (like getting a tooth filling) and releasing the restriction. Once the tissue is released, the wound will typically be sutured, followed by post-operative instructions to promote optimal wound healing and function. Overall, Frenuloplasty is a quick procedure, generally taking less than 45 minutes. Dr. Candace Zorn has taken over 500 hours of continuing education in this field and is thrilled to be a premier provider for this service in Maryland and surrounding areas.