Tongue-tie isn’t merely awkwardness of speaking in a nervous situation. It’s actually a medical condition called “ankyloglossia” in which the tongue is hindered from moving freely. What prevents normal movement of the tongue is the tissue connecting the tongue to the base of the mouth. If the tissue, called the “frenulum,” is very thick, tight, or attaches to the tongue far forward in the mouth, it causes tongue-tie. According to one study published in The Journal of the American Board of Family Practice, tongue-tie occurs in about 4.2% of babies born. Do you think your baby may have tongue-tie? The following are signs and symptoms of this condition that can negatively affect a person throughout childhood and adulthood, if not addressed.
It’s not always immediately obvious that a newborn baby has ankyloglossia. Problems with breastfeeding often lead to the discovery. Lip-tie is a similar condition to tongue-tie except that it’s the top lip that can’t move freely. If someone has lip-tie they usually also have tongue-tie but not the other way around.
How tongue-tie or lip-tie affects breastfeeding:
A person with tongue-tie may not be able to stick out their tongue past their lips; this is not a sign of a “short tongue.” If a person’s outstretched tongue looks heart-shaped, it’s because the frenulum is attached too close to the front of the tongue. A baby may not be able to bottle-feed or use a pacifier. Other symptoms of tongue-tie in babies and children follow:
Dental problems are common among children with tongue-tie because they are unable to run their tongue along their teeth after eating. Because debris is more prone to stay on the teeth, decay occurs. Difficulties speaking are among the numerous other symptoms of tongue-tie in children.
The earlier tongue-tie is treated, the easier it is on the patient. The Gep TOTs Dental Group at Woodbridge Kids Dentistry specializes in diagnosing and treating infants and children with tongue ties and lip ties, also referred to as “tethered oral tissues” (TOT). We quickly correct the condition with minimal discomfort using a dental laser. For the best treatment for tongue-tie and lip-tie, contact our team of kid-friendly experts today at (647) 492-7059.