Tongue-tie is an issue that is recognizable at birth. It occurs when the tissue used to attach the tongue to the lower mouth (lingual frenulum) isn’t long enough. This results in limited tongue movement and difficulty breast-feeding. Though the primary cause of tongue-tie is not yet known, it can run in families or can show up in babies who have other facial or mouth issues such as cleft palate.
What are the symptoms of tongue-tie?
It is normal for babies with tongue-tie to not show any symptoms. This is due to the fact that tongue-tie can sometimes fix itself as the child grows. For instance, the child may adapt to the tongue-tie or the tissue will stretch over time. In some circumstances, children with tongue-tie may have spaces between the lower front teeth, trouble speaking, problems cleaning the food off their teeth, or have issues with their peers making fun of them due to their speech problems.
The diagnosis and treatment
If you think your child may have tongue-tie, you can have your dentist or doctor examine their mouth to check beneath the tongue. In some instances, a special medical procedure may be needed called a frenotomy. This procedure will clip lingual frenulum. If your baby has tongue-tie and you are breastfeeding, they may have issues latching on. If you are concerned about your baby’s ability to breastfeed, meet with a lactation consultant. For toddlers with speech impediments caused by tongue-tie, arrange a consultation with a speech therapist.
A frenuloplasty may be required in other situations. This medical procedure involves clipping the lingual frenulum then stitching the wound. Your medical professional may also instruct your child on how to do tongue exercises to enhance movement and flexibility.
Arrange a consultation
If you think your child suffers from tongue-tie, arrange a consultation with Drs of Smiles today. We also offer a variety of preventive and cosmetic dental services. Don’t hesitate to call with any questions you may have. Our number is (480) 834-6991. Our practice is located at your convenience in Mesa, Arizona.