What is the safety and efficacy of lingual frenuloplasty and myofunctional therapy in patients with restricted tongue mobility?
Bottom Line: Lingual frenuloplasty with myofunctional therapy is safe and potentially effective for the treatment of mouth breathing, snoring, clenching, and myofascial tension in appropriately selected patient candidates.
Explore This IssueOctober 2019
Background: Ankyloglossia is a condition of altered tongue mobility due to the presence of restrictive tissue between the undersurface of the tongue and the floor of the mouth. Potential implications of restricted tongue mobility (such as mouth breathing, snoring, dental clenching, and myofascial tension) remain underappreciated due to limited peer-reviewed evidence.
Study design: Retrospective chart review.
Synopsis: The study involved a retrospective chart review and telephone survey of patients treated between March 12, 2016, and May 2, 2018. A total of 420 consecutive patients (aged 29 months to 79 years) treated with myofunctional therapy and lingual frenuloplasty for indications of mouth breathing, snoring, dental clenching, and/or myofascial tension were surveyed.
Participants included 110 children (aged 2–11), 35 adolescents (age 12–17), 69 young adults (age 18–35), 120 adults (aged 36–64), and 14 seniors (aged 65 and older). Gender distribution was 52% female. There were 63 children treated under general anesthesia; all other cases were performed under local anesthesia. All procedures were performed by a single surgeon using a scissors and suture technique. Safety and efficacy was assessed longer than two months postoperatively by means of patient-reported outcome measures.
In all, 348 surveys (83% response rate) were completed showing 91% satisfaction rate and 87% rate of improvement in quality of life through amelioration of mouth breathing (78.4%), snoring (72.9%), clenching (91.0%), and/or myofascial tension (77.5%). Minor complications occurred in less than 5% of cases including complaints of prolonged pain or bleeding, temporary numbness of the tongue-tip, salivary gland issues, minor wound infection or inflammation, and need for revision to excise scar tissue. There were no major complications.
Citation: Zaghi S, Valcu-Pinkerton S, Jabara M, et al. Lingual frenuloplasty with myofunctional therapy: Exploring safety and efficacy in 348 cases. Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology. Published August 26, 2019. doi: 10.1002/lio2.297.