Tongue tie refers to a condition that prevents children from being able to fully move their tongue. Although some cases do not cause any issues, others require treatment in order to prevent complications in the future.
What Causes Tongue Tie?
A band of tissue extending from the tongue to the floor of the mouth, known as lingual frenulum, normally separates when babies are born. In some cases, this band of tissue remains in place. This condition can make it difficult for children to move their tongue around, which can cause problems with eating and speaking. Tongue tie occurs more commonly in boys, although it can occur in girls as well. Having a family history of tongue tie might increase the risk of having this condition.
Symptoms of Tongue Tie
Tongue tie can cause any of the following symptoms to occur:
- Trouble moving the tongue up or from side to side
- Difficulty moving the tongue forward out of the mouth
- A notched appearance in the tongue when it is out
You should plan on having your child’s condition checked if there are any problems with breastfeeding, eating or speaking. This can determine if your child needs treatment and which type of treatment would work best.
Risks of Tongue Tie
This condition might not end up causing any serious problems for your child. However, there are some cases where tongue tie can cause issues that affect your child’s quality of life. Some of the problems that can occur when tongue tie is left untreated include the following:
- Oral health problems: These can occur in older children who still have tongue tie. This condition makes it harder to keep teeth clean, which increases the risk of tooth decay and gum problems. Gaps between the front bottom teeth can also develop.
- Breastfeeding difficulties: Babies with tongue-tie have trouble properly breastfeeding. This can result in poor nutrition and affect a baby’s ability to grow and develop.
- Speech trouble: Children with tongue tie can have issues learning to speak, especially when they try to say certain letters or sounds, such as “th” and “r.”
- Trouble with daily activities: Children with tongue tie can have trouble with activities that involve the mouth, such as playing a flute or other musical instrument or eating certain foods.
Treatment Options for Tongue Tie
Children who need treatment for tongue tie can have surgery done to correct this condition. A frenectomy is a simple surgical procedure that involves the removal of the frenum from the mouth. The frenum is a connective tissue membrane that attaches one surface within the mouth to another. At Park View Pediatric Dentistry, this procedure can be done with a pain-free, laser treatment.
If you need more information on tongue tie treatment, please contact Park View Pediatric Dentistry to schedule an appointment. Our entire staff will make you and your child feel welcome and comfortable in our child-friendly office.