Tongue-tie occurs when the tissue that attaches the tongue to the bottom of the mouth is too short. It is typically a problem that is identified at birth and can limit ones ability to move the tongue.
Who gets tongue-tie?
The cause of tongue-tie isn’t proven, but it may be genetic. It is typically present in babies who have additional mouth problems like cleft palate.
What are the symptoms?
Babies with tongue-tie don’t typically have symptoms. This is because the problem can fix itself as the child grows (the tissue will stretch) or the child adapts to the restrictions of being tongue-tied. Babies who are bottle fed generally don’t manifest any issues because it is easy to get milk from a bottle, as a opposed to the breast.
Children with tongue-tie may have issues breastfeeding or have gaps in the front lower teeth. Some children exhibit speech impediments like an inability to pronounce certain sounds clearly like t, d, s, z, th, n, and l. Those with tongue-tie may also have social or personal problems connected to limited tongue movement. These include challenges clearing food off of the teeth using the tongue. Kids with these problems may be made fun of by their peers.
Diagnosis and treatment
If your baby is under 1 year old and is tongue-tied, your doctor may do a frenotomy. This medical procedure involves clipping the lingual frenulum. If your baby is tongue tied but doesn’t have any problems breast feeding, you might wait until they are older to see if the problem takes care of itself and the frenulum stretches on its own. In the meantime, seek advice from a lactation consultant if you are having issues breastfeeding. If your child is a little older and has speech problems related to being tongue tied, contact a speech therapist.
Arrange a consultation
For more information about tongue-tie and frenotomy, contact Broadway Family Dentistry today. Our number is (701) 839-1299. We are located in Minot, North Dakota.