Don’t you think that in recent years we have had an epidemic of short lingual frenulum?
Looking for information in this regard, it turns out that there are texts from Greek antiquity that name the impact of this membrane on breastfeeding and speech. So it is not a dysfunction of the current century, but we do study more about it. But the curious thing in our daily practice as pediatric physical therapists is that not all babies diagnosed with ankyloglossia have difficulties in orofacial functions, nor do all babies who undergo surgery achieve the expected results.
And it is that no relationship has been found between the length of the frenulum and the difficulties in breastfeeding. It has been shown that between 56% and 80% of babies with short bridle can successfully feed (Hogan M et al., 2005) (Ricke et al, 2005)
And so the questions we can ask ourselves are: are the current diagnostic scales effective? Is there any data to explore? Do other factors influence orofacial functions?
Currently we find validated scales to decide whether to intervene or not (Hazelbaker, 2017, Martinelli, 2017). But we also find authors such as Catherine Watson Genna and other professionals who consider functional evaluation of language more important. Despite whether the frenulum is short or not, they will take into account the way to breastfeed, weight gain and whether or not there is pain to decide on surgery.
What does TMPI contribute in the evaluation and treatment of the short lingual brace?
In addition to reviewing the validated scales, we evaluated the archaic circuits of the orofacial region, we observed the relationship with its neurodevelopment, we analyzed the interference factors and we assessed the possible dysfunctions of the face, skull and neck involved in the correct suction-swallowing-breathing function -phonation.
The complexity of this region not only requires the evaluation of the language, but of all the structures involved.
Similarly, the treatment of a frenectomy or a difficulty in orofacial functions requires quality manual treatment, neuro-sensory-motor integration and support for families.
Let’s not forget that not only the language influences successful breastfeeding!