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Tongue Tie/SLT

Updated: Oct 12, 2023

Title: Surgical and Speech Therapy Evaluation of Lingual Frenulum

Introduction:

The lingual frenulum, also known as the tongue tie, is a small band of tissue that connects the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. In some individuals, this frenulum may be abnormally tight or short, leading to various functional issues. A recent article by Palomares-Aguilera et al. explores the surgical and speech therapy evaluation of the lingual frenulum. In this blog post, we will delve into the key findings and implications of this study.

Understanding Lingual Frenulum:

The lingual frenulum plays a crucial role in the movement and function of the tongue. When it is too tight or short, it can restrict the tongue's range of motion, affecting speech, swallowing, and oral hygiene. This condition, known as ankyloglossia or tongue tie, can occur in both children and adults and may require intervention to alleviate associated difficulties.

The Study:

The article focuses on a study that evaluated the lingual frenulum in individuals with suspected ankyloglossia. The researchers conducted surgical and speech therapy assessments to determine the severity of the condition and its impact on speech and oral function. The study involved a multidisciplinary team of speech-language pathologists and dental professionals.

Key Findings:

The study revealed that a significant number of individuals with suspected ankyloglossia had restricted tongue movement and functional impairments. The severity of the condition varied, with some participants experiencing mild restrictions while others had more pronounced limitations. The evaluation helped identify the need for intervention, such as frenotomy (surgical release of the frenulum) or speech therapy.

Implications for Treatment:

The evaluation of the lingual frenulum has important implications for treatment decisions. In cases where ankyloglossia significantly affects speech and oral function, surgical intervention may be recommended. Frenotomy, a relatively simple and minimally invasive procedure, can release the tight or short frenulum, allowing for improved tongue movement and function.

Speech therapy also plays a crucial role in the management of ankyloglossia. Therapists can provide exercises and techniques to improve tongue mobility, articulation, and swallowing patterns. They work closely with individuals to address any speech or feeding difficulties caused by the lingual frenulum.

Conclusion:

The evaluation of the lingual frenulum through surgical and speech therapy assessments is essential for identifying and addressing ankyloglossia-related functional impairments. This multidisciplinary approach allows for a comprehensive understanding of the condition and facilitates appropriate treatment decisions. Whether through surgical intervention or speech therapy techniques, individuals with ankyloglossia can experience improved tongue mobility, speech clarity, and overall oral function.

Further research is necessary to explore the long-term outcomes of different treatment approaches and to develop standardized protocols for the evaluation and management of ankyloglossia. By raising awareness about the importance of evaluating the lingual frenulum, healthcare professionals can better support individuals with this condition and enhance their quality of life.

References:

Palomares-Aguilera, M. S., Inostroza-Allende, F., Álvarez Carvajal, D., Villena Balcázar, C., Goldschmied Aljaro, K., Castellón Zirpel, L., ... Fuenzalida Kakarieka, C. (Year). Surgical and Speech Therapy Evaluation of Lingual Frenulum. The Journal of Craniofacial Surgery():10.1097/SCS.0000000000009523, July 10, 2023. | DOI: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000009523


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