A tongue tie, also known as ankyloglossia, is a condition that occurs when the thin piece of skin, or frenulum, under the tongue is shorter than normal. This can restrict the movement of the tongue and cause difficulty with tasks such as eating, speaking, and swallowing.
A tongue tie can occur in infants, children, and adults. Babies with a tongue tie may have difficulty breastfeeding due to the restriction of the tongue’s movement. In children, a tongue tie may lead to speech and language problems. Adults may find it difficult to eat certain foods due to the restricted tongue movement.
The causes of tongue ties are not well understood. However, it is believed to be an inherited trait, as it tends to run in families. It is also thought to be linked to other conditions such as Down syndrome and cleft lip and palate.
There are several types of tongue ties. The most common type is a posterior tongue tie, which occurs when the frenulum is connected to the back of the tongue. This can cause difficulty with breastfeeding and eating. An anterior tongue tie occurs when the frenulum is attached to the front of the tongue. This can cause difficulty with speech and articulation.
Tongue ties can be treated with a simple procedure called a frenectomy. During a frenectomy, a doctor will snip the frenulum to release the tongue and allow for normal movement. This procedure is usually done in a dental office and is relatively painless. In some cases, a laser may be used to make the procedure easier and less painful.
Tongue ties can cause a variety of issues, depending on the severity of the condition. Some of the most common symptoms include difficulty breastfeeding, speech problems, poor oral hygiene, and difficulty eating. If left untreated, a tongue tie can cause a variety of issues, including difficulty speaking, eating, and even breathing.
If you suspect that your child may have a tongue tie, it is important to seek advice from a dentist who specializes in procedures to alleviate tongue ties. The dentist will be able to evaluate the severity of the condition and determine if a frenectomy is necessary to help improve the patient’s quality of life.
Overall, a tongue tie can be a serious condition that affects many aspects of a person’s life. It is important to seek a consultation for your child if you suspect that they may have a tongue tie. A simple procedure can help alleviate the symptoms and allow for a better quality of life. To learn more, please contact our pediatric dental office to schedule a consultation.