The correct name for tongue-tie is ankyloglossia and this is a condition that is present from birth and it affects a child’s ability to move their tongue freely because the range of motion is restricted.
If a child has tongue tie then they will normally have a thick band of tissue that is attached from the tip of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. The band of tissue is called the lingual frenulum.
What are the Symptoms of Tongue Tie?
A child with tongue tie will often have difficulty in sticking out their tongue. They might have difficulty in lifting up their tongue so it touches the roof of their mouth or may be unable to move the tongue from side to side. If they can stick out their tongue, it might appear to have a notch or will be heart shaped.
What Causes Tongue Tie?
Usually, the lingual frenulum will separate before birth, giving the child’s tongue freedom of movement. In the case of tongue tie, the frenulum remains attached to the bottom of the tongue. It is not really known why some children will have this condition but the cause could be genetic.
When to Seek Tongue Tie Treatment
You may want to seek treatment for your child if recommended by a speech pathologist and where the condition is affecting their ability to speak clearly, or if an older child complains of problems with eating or speaking, or that their tongue cannot reach their back teeth.
Tongue tie can make it trickier to do everyday activities we take for granted, such as licking an ice cream or your lips. In older children, tongue tie can make it difficult to maintain good oral hygiene (Read more: Daily Flossing).
When you think about the way your tongue moves, then you will notice it is able to move over your teeth and gums and this action helps to remove food debris. By removing this excess debris, the motion of your tongue helps to reduce the risk of gum disease and tooth decay which is why it is so important to get this condition corrected in children (Read more: Children’s Tooth Decay).
In addition, tongue tie can lead to a space forming in between the lower front teeth, due to the tongue being in the incorrect position as it would normally rest toward the upper part of the mouth.
Professional Tongue Tie Treatment in Manhattan
If your child is a regular visitor to midtown pediatrics then we will almost certainly have picked up on this problem and we can help. A frenectomy is a relatively straightforward and very quick procedure that will cause your child minimal discomfort and which will correct this problem.
This treatment will release lingual frenulum or thick band of tissue that prevents normal tongue movement and it is suitable for even very young babies ( Read more: kids oral sedation dentistry ) . Afterwards, your child should heal very quickly and can enjoy the sensation of having a tongue with the correct range of motion.