The Liper Device (Tongue Training Tool)
This convenient device is useful for pre and post op neuromuscular re-education.
No matter the degree of tongue -tie severity, the Liper Device comes in handy. In many cases, proper tongue exercises with the Liper Device can be used pre and post operatively when there is a need for frenotomy (a.k.a. frenulotomy or frenulectomy). Postoperative Active Wound Management (AWM) with the LiperTM device has been shown to improve post- surgical outcome; therefore helping ensure normal tongue flexibility and functioning while preventing frenulum reattachment and/or scarring.
The Liper Device can also be used with toddlers and young children who are receiving pre and post op frenectomy therapy. The speech-language pathologist and /or registered dental hygienist trained in pediatric feeding and/or myofunctional therapy (COM™) can use this tool as a part of their AWM program. For example, the “V-Stretch” which is described and demonstrated in our TOTs course using the Liper Device.
WHAT IS ANKYLOGLOSSIA?
Ankyloglossia or tongue- tie, happens when the tongue is tethered to the floor of the mouth by an unusually short or thick lingual frenulum. This is one aspect of Tethered Oral Tissue(s) (TOTs). Frenula restriction may also be found in the maxillary and mandibular labial frena and/or the maxillary or mandibular buccal frena. In many cases of ankyloglossia, frenotomy is performed to surgically incise or remove the abnormal membrane. This can be done by a dentist, oral surgeon or otolaryngologist via laser or scalpel procedure.
Breastfeeding and beyond
Breastfeeding is clearly on the rise as recommended by the World Health Organization. Tongue-tie restricts the tongue from extending and elevating, impairing the baby’s ability to remove milk from the breast. Oftentimes, women who breastfeed tongue tied babies experience excessive pain and sores on the breast. They may be led to change to bottle feeding, and at TalkTools one of our goals in TOTs education is to support the breastfeeding dyad between the mother and child, with interventional support with an IBCLC.
Functional diagnosis of ankyloglossia is sometimes very difficult to perform. That said, in many studies, impaired breastfeeding has been shown as associated with psychological, social and numerous physical implications. Missing the diagnosis of tongue-tie can be associated with: articulation difficulties, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), SIDS, airway dysfunction, food allergies, dental & facial developmental anomalies, palate abnormalities and myofunctional disorders. The Liper Device can assist with assessment, therefore identifying the tongue- tie, and help the breastfeeding dyad move towards the proper medical referral.
To learn more about Tethered Oral Tissue be sure to check out our New Course and New Book Functional Assessment and Remediation of TOTS by Robyn Merkel-Walsh, MA, CCC-SLP and Lori Overland, MS, CCC-SLP, C/NDT, CLC!