Q: I am writing to ask you for guidance… I have an adult client who has great difficulty with narrow and broaden tongue. I have tried pointing tongue on a straw, using tongue depressors to squeeze the sides, massaging the tongue, tongue on the shelf, and it continues to be difficult for him. He got his tongue tie released six weeks ago.
I would greatly appreciate any suggestions.
A: Hi, I think more details can help me offer guidance. How successful was the frenectomy? What CAN he do with his tongue? Can he suction and maintain within the palate? Can he elevate to spot with mouth opened fairly wide? Is it pointed when in that position? Can he make the tongue “fat/broad” and maintain it there at rest? Can he move horizontally, laterally, vertically without mandibular involvement?
What type of attachment did he have prior to the release? Was it attached very much anteriorly to the tongue? Was it embedded? Where was it attached to the mouth floor? Onto the lower alveolar ridge? Just below it? Further back? Was it short? Thin or taut?
I know your head might be spinning from all the above questions. Tell me any of them that you know so I can visualize where he began and what might be reasonable to expect at this time.
If you are using either the 2- or 3 Way Mouth props to stabilize his jaw/mandible, he should be able to make the skinny tongue unless the tongue is still not completely released or if a square tip or indented tip is present. Do you recall how to perform the Football Hold? I am assuming that is what you tried when you mentioned the pointed straw. Be sure his mandible is stabilized with the mouth prop and open adequately, angle the tiny straw inward as it rests between his upper central incisors and put the straw just under the area where the spot is. He should be able to just lightly reach and touch/hold his tongue tip on the straw without pushing at the straw.
Let me know if any of this helps clarify this problem.