I am a practitioner trained in the discipline of orofacial myofunctional therapy and understand the importance of strengthening the surrounding oral muscle structures and tissues, to support the tongue to regain its function post tongue-tie division.
In infants, the tongue tie procedure (frenulotomy) is usually indicated when the lingual frenulum restricts the tongue's movement and compromises infant feeding. Correct posture and function of the tongue is essential for milk transfer. Optimal tongue function means the whole tongue can move in such a way as to create a vacuum. The nipple or teat will stimulate the sucking reflex and the tongue will move in a peristaltic wave ending in a timely audible rhythmical swallow (not gulp!) and transfer of milk.
The styloglossus muscle runs from the tongue tip to an area near the temporomandibular joint. This muscle retracts and elevates the tongue, and enables a wide mouth gape.
When the tongue is restricted, you may find your infant’s mouth does not seem to open wide enough or stay wide throughout the feed. This manifests by either persistent difficulties with latch or an infant who can latch well at the start of the feed but then resorting to a shallow latch, requiring frequent attempts at re latching to complete the feed.
I am one of a handful of qualified practitioners of orofacial myofunctional therapy in the UK, I frequently build this specialised knowledge into the care plans for new mothers.