Introduction: Muscle tension dysphonia (MTD) describes a condition affecting the feeling or quality of the voice due to increased muscle tension in and/or around the neck and larynx. Ankyloglossia is a condition of restricted tongue mobility that has been shown to be associated with increased muscle tension. This case series explores outcomes for voice users with MTD who have been treated for ankyloglossia.
Methods: Twelve professional or recreational voice users diagnosed with ankyloglossia were surveyed on their symptoms of MTD before and after treatment with lingual frenuloplasty and pre- and post-operative orofacial myofunctional therapy (OMT), a multidisciplinary approach known as functional frenuloplasty. Two investigators independently compiled a list of themes reported by participants and agreed upon common themes.
Results: Eleven out of twelve patients (91.6%) reported clinical improvement in the use of their voice after functional frenuloplasty; one patient reported no change. Five primary themes were noted: improved voice quality, improved ease of singing and/or speaking, increased stamina, increased pitch range, and improved breath support.
Discussion: OMT with lingual frenuloplasty can be an effective adjunctive intervention for treatment of symptoms of vocal tension and fatigue for singers and professional speakers with ankyloglossia. These findings suggest a possible association between MTD and restricted tongue mobility presumably due to underlying myofascial tension.
voice, ankyloglossia, singer, tethered oral tissues, orofacial myofunctional disorder, myofunctional therapy
Percentage of patients reporting increased pitch range = 42% (Table 1 corrected, publication updated on 13 Nov 2023)
Summersgill, I., et al.
(2023). Muscle tension dysphonia in singers and professional speakers with ankyloglossia: Impact of treatment with lingual frenuloplasty and orofacial myofunctional therapy.
International Journal of Orofacial Myology and Myofunctional Therapy,