Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Adult Frenectomy Experience: 6 Weeks Later

In April of this year I had my tongue-tie released (you can read about that here), and after 6 weeks I'm back with an update on how things are going!

I've been having weekly oral myofunctional therapy (OMT) sessions with Samantha as planned, and I recently completed the first phase of therapy, which focused on correct tongue placement as well as developing strength and mobility in my tongue and lips. The second phase of therapy has me working on coordinating the movements of my tongue and lips to learn to swallow properly. I haven't been progressing through the exercises as quickly in this phase, but that's to be expected since I'm fighting habits that have been established in my body for almost 38 years... It's definitely a (re)learning process!

As far as my other symptoms (i.e., chronic neck tension, jaw clenching, grinding teeth), some have recurred since the initial relief I felt immediately after the frenectomy. My neck and shoulders have felt more sore in the past few weeks, and my jaw tension is back. This seems to be a common concern or complaint among adults after release, and I must admit that it is disheartening to feel symptoms emerge again after experiencing such significant improvement right after the procedure!

However, muscle memory is powerful, even more so the longer our body patterns have been established. It has been helpful for me to remember that although the frenectomy felt like a quick fix because of its immediate effects, there are many years of poor postural and motor habits that must be unlearned before lasting improvement can be expected. With that in mind, I have been continuing with regular tongue and neck stretching, yoga, and bodywork sessions (craniosacral therapy/CST and massage therapy) to address compensatory muscle tension patterns and alleviate the discomfort in my neck and shoulders.

I notice small improvements with every aspect of my aftercare plan, and communicating openly with my dentist, OMT, and bodyworker has been very helpful in knowing what I can reasonably expect, as well as how to optimize my function and results post-release.

Dentist East Berlin PA
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