Mother and Child

Healing & Improvement for All Ages

Functional Frenuloplasty

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"What do you mean by Functional Frenuloplasty?"

It is important to note that successful tongue tie releases require an interdisciplinary approach.

While we all wish that there was a quick fix to achieve optimal breathing, there is a vast body of research which illustrates that this is unfortunately not the case. Through the restrictive movement due to the tongue tie, the mouth and tongue have been trained to function in a suboptimal manner, the body learns to function dysfunctionally. The frenuloplasty will allow improved mobility, but success requires a retraining of how the tongue is supposed to function. The body requires retraining and preparation for acceptance after the release takes place. We often use the analogy of having your arm tied to your side your whole life… when that tie is released the arm won’t know how to move and function properly without therapy and reeducation. If you spend any amount of time with us you will learn that we have LOTS of analogies!

The frenulum

(or frenum) is a small section of connective tissue that is normal! However, when it restricts natural movement and function it can cause quite a range of problems.

When attachment is abnormal and restrictive it sometimes referred to as tethered oral tissues,  tongue tie (ankyloglossia) or lip tie.

A tongue tie release (also called a revision or frenectomy or frenuloplasty), then, is an alteration to the frenulum that results in improved mobility, and function.


Why does this matter?
With greater flexibility and proper positioning, the tongue can move out of the back of the throat allowing unobstructed nasal breathing. This proper tongue posture also promotes optimal forward jaw growth allowing for optimal tongue space and passive nasal airflow… the roof of the mouth and the floor of the nose share the same bones!

The functional aspect of the frenuloplasty is the incorporation of two or more disciplines to ensure a lasting, successful tongue tie release. Just like a patient would require physical therapy before and after a knee or hip surgery, myofunctional therapy is necessary to regain optimal tongue and facial function.

"How is the frenuloplasty performed?"

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As you can probably imagine, the structure of everyone’s mouth is different. There are no two tongue or lip tie releases that are exactly the same. Dr. Graham’s approach is dependent on the age of the patient and the nature of the restricted tissue. That said, there are some general guidelines you can expect for a “typical” release procedure.

  • For infants, Dr. Graham uses the state-of-the-art Light Scalpel CO2 laser to ensures baby’s optimal comfort. She uses topical anesthetic free of dyes that is specifically formulated to be safe for tiny, brand new humans! This procedure takes less than a minute!

  • For big kids and adults I use Dr. Zaghi’s functional frenuloplasty technique in order to promote healing by primary intention.The procedure takes around 30 minutes from start to finish, with the surgical portion only taking a few minutes. Most of the procedural time is allowing the fascia to stretch and relax in a resting position.

  • Includes Dr. Graham and the direct care team that has worked with you from the beginning.

  • The amount of tissue released is based on what provides the greatest solution and sets you up for greatest success, while striving to be as conservative as possible. In the words of our colleagues at The Breathe Institute: not too much, and not too little.

© 2020 Untethered Airway Health & Tongue-tie Center.