What is Tongue Tie?
Tongue tie or ankyloglossia is a common condition present at birth that may restrict the range of motion of a child’s tongue. In some cases the child adapts to the condition, however, in others it may affect the way a child eats, speaks and swallows, leading to serious complications. A simple surgical procedure performed by an experienced otolaryngologist can correct the condition.
If your child is experiencing any of the symptoms related to tongue tie do not hesitate to set up an appointment with a skilled and experienced pediatric tongue tie specialist at Eastside ENT specialists in Ohio. Give us a call at 440-352-1474 and access quality medical care for your child.
What Causes Tongue Tie?
Lingual frenulum is the tissue that connects the tongue to the bottom of your mouth. It guides the development of mouth structures in the mother’s womb and helps determine the position of the incoming teeth. An extraordinarily short, tight or thick lingual frenulum can make it difficult to move the tongue freely, leading to tongue-tie.
What are the Symptoms of Tongue Tie?
In infants, following symptoms may point towards tongue tie:
- The baby may have a hard time latching on to the mother’s breast, leading to difficulty in sucking the milk
- Poor weight gain due to inadequate breastfeeding
Many toddlers and older children do not exhibit any obvious symptoms of tongue-tie, as they learn to cope with the restrictions of their tongue; however, many may show the following symptoms:
- Having a hard time moving the tongue from side to side
- Inability to touch the upper teeth or roof of the mouth with their tongue
- Inability to stick out the tongue past the lower front teeth
- Gaps or spaces between the lower front teeth
- A heart shaped or a V-shaped notch on the tip of the tongue
- Difficulty cleaning food off their teeth
- Difficulty enunciating words, especially with sounds- l, r, d, t, n, sh, th, z, and s.
- Behavioral issues resulting from being made fun of by the peers
What are the Risk Factors for Tongue Tie?
Tongue tie may run in the family so a child’s genes are an important risk factor. Some other conditions related to the structure of the mouth or face like Cleft Palate may also increase the risk of tongue tie in children.
When Should I see a Doctor?
Tongue tie can be responsible for feeding problems in infants. If a nursing mother is experiencing significant pain while breastfeeding and finds the baby failing to latch on properly, the infant should be seen by an experienced tongue tie doctor or an ENT specialist. Similarly if your child is showing any signs of speech or swallowing issues a doctor should be consulted.
How is Tongue Tie Diagnosed?
A pediatric tongue tie specialist may use the following diagnostic procedures to determine whether your child has tongue tie:
- A physical exam to look for structural abnormalities in the mouth
- The doctor may ask you to give him a detailed account of the most noticeable symptoms
- He/she may check the movements and reach of the tongue
How is Tongue Tie Treated?
If your baby has tongue tie but is feeding normally, your doctor may advise you to wait to see if it causes any problems in the future. A speech therapist may be consulted to help with speech development. However, the tongue tie surgery called Frenulectomy is your best bet to access effective correction of this condition. It is a simple surgical procedure without any complications. Depending on the age of your child, it can be performed under local or general anesthesia. Quick recovery is expected.
In many cases, tongue tie can adversely affect the quality of life of a child and may lead to physical or social problems if prompt treatment is not accessed. If your child is experiencing any of the symptoms related to tongue tie do not hesitate to set up an appointment with a skilled and experienced pediatric tongue tie specialist at Eastside ENT specialists in Ohio. Give us a call at 440-352-1474 and access quality medical care for your child.
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