(Not So Live) Blogging My Tongue Tie Release Part 3: The Release
Want the real story on what it’s like to get a tongue tie release as an adult?
Here it is: today, I’m sharing all the details on my release and my experience during and after surgery. I meant to do this sooner but seriously, this reno has been insane. We installed and finished our own floors! And now I’m painting the whole apartment. There is still so much to do! But at least now there is time to return to blogging, at least a bit 🙂
A few things to note:
#1 I chose to get a surgical release (called a functional frenuloplasty() instead of a laser release, because my tongue tie was super far back and I’d already had a laser release with disappointing results.
Dr. Soroush Zaghi at the Breathe Institute in LA has pioneered the functional frenuloplasty approach to releasing posterior ties. He actually does the surgery with an Oral Myofunctional Therapist in the room with him, to help assess function and tension during the release, which is super cool. Movement + manual change at the same time = my fave!!
I believe that this approach was the most appropriate for my particular needs, and I’ve been very happy with the results. However, this means that a laser release will look quite different from what you see here.
#2 The video includes some graphic shots of the frenuloplasty surgery. It’s not super gory but if you’re squeamish, be warned!
My Frenuloplasty & Post-Release Experience
Because my life went so crazy with renovations, it’s been hard for me to get a good sense of what has changed with the surgery.
I haven’t had time or space to observe changes, and I’ve been loading my body in really strange ways that it hasn’t loved.
Plus bodies need time and rest to recover from a wound and I really haven’t given this to myself. So all of this has influenced what I’m seeing in my body.
As our reno slows, I’m having more time to observe and to recover, and I’m also noticing more changes!
I was shaky and really needed quiet, warm down-time. After an hour or so I went for a very long walk, which felt amazing, and ate soup and a smoothie.
Eating soft foods with care felt fine after about 4 hours. My tongue basically felt like I’d bitten it really hard – not great but not terrible. This got better pretty fast – I could still feel it over the next week but it wasn’t really bothersome.
3 weeks later my tongue still felt a bit tight and tingly, which decreased if I held a stretch. 7 weeks later my tongue feels completely healed but a tiny bit tingly at the tip if I stretch it out.
Post-frenuloplasty tongue exercises
I did very gentle tongue stretching, only as it felt good, for the first few days post-surgery and gradually increased the amount of work as it felt good. I worked on breath, cheeks and lips instead.
My daily routine for the first few weeks was about 20 minutes of dedicated Oral Myofunctional work each AM, lots and lots of doing stretches casually during my day (e.g. sticking out my tongue as I wait to return stuff to Ikea), and some manual stretches for my cheeks, tongue and lower jaw immediately before bed.
At six weeks out I started new exercises to build tongue strength and working on my accessory muscles in my face and lips. I’m also doing daily breathing work using Lois Laynee’s Restorative Breathing technique, and (almost) daily shoulder, chest and neck movement work. Finally, I’m being super committed to my sleep hygiene. I’ve taken a total break from drinking alcohol (super challenging during a reno!), I turn my phone off by 8pm at the latest, and all the other things recommended by Dr. Chris Carruthers.
I’ve had only two osteopathy/cranio-sacral treatments so far. Normally I would have tried to have more manual work done but there’s been literally no time. My osteopath said my cervical spine feels like butter and it’s a huge change. It’s also revealed some mid-thoracic tension that wasn’t accessible to her before and she’s also working on my dural tension. Overall she feels that she has more to work with and can get deeper and make more change than before my release.
What I’ve noticed so far
#1 My tongue has much more range of motion, it sits more easily in the top of my mouth, and I have way less tension through the bottom of my mouth under my tongue. It’s easier for me to breathe through my nose and I’m less stuffed up at night than previously.
#2 I have way less hyperkyphosis (higher than normal curvature in the upper back) and I’m able to align my spine far more easily in a better range. My neck and spine have less tension.
#3 When I do movement exercises for the upper body, I have far more sensation than I did before. It feels stretchier and tighter at the same time. This is pretty exciting for me – I think it’s a sign that my brain is reconnecting to these parts of me.
#4 My sleeping is starting to improve – I’m waking less often and going back to sleep more easily when I do. I expect this to take a couple of months to get all the way better, but it’s exciting to feel a change!
Overall, I’m super happy I had the functional frenuloplasty and I feel like I’m on the path to creating some exciting changes over the next few months! It’s a very different experience from when I had the laser release, which didn’t really seem to create much change at all. Dr. Zaghi and his team have been wonderful to work with and I’ve definitely felt like this has been a great choice for me.
More About Tongue Ties
Tongue ties affect some 3-5% of people, and insomnia, apnea, snoring and poor breathing affect many, many more. If you have sleeping issues, jaw issues, headaches, or neck pain, you may want to investigate whether your real issue is with your tongue.
Here are some previous posts where you can learn more about tongue ties, how to do a simple assessment to see if you have one, and what to do if you think you might have a tongue tie or other tongue position issue.
Petra is a movement educator and personal trainer with a passion for helping people find greater ease, joy and health in their bodies. She believes that better movement can help every body – and she’s always happy to chat about it. When she’s not teaching, you’ll probably find her hanging out on a set of monkey bars.