Tongue-Tie In Children: What Is It And How Does It Affect Them

Tongue-Tie In Children: What Is It And How Does It Affect Them

Posted by Dr. Galan on Apr 22 2021, 08:54 AM

Tongue-tie, otherwise known as Ankyloglossia, is a condition seen in newborn children, affecting the tongue's range of motion. What happens is, a short, thick, or tight band of tissue called Lingual Frenulum holds the bottom of the tongue's tip back close to the floor of the baby's mouth. According to NHS UK, tongue-tie could mean the child will have difficulty breastfeeding and sticking their tongue out. As they grow, this condition will also impact how the child eats, speaks, or swallows. There are cases where tongue-tie will not cause major problems. In many cases, a small surgical procedure is enough to correct the issue.

In this blog, we will give you a brief about how to spot tongue-tie, their causes, when to seek medical help, and the complications that it causes.

What causes Tongue-Tie?

As mentioned above, the lingual frenulum is the reason behind tongue-tie. Ideally, the tissue separates before birth, giving the tongue flexibility to make a range of motions. However, in some cases, the tissue remains attached to the tongue's bottom even after birth. According to MayoClinic, the reasons behind this condition are largely unknown to researchers, but it is linked to a few genetic factors. It is known that tongue-tie is most likely to affect boys rather than girls.

How can you identify Tongue-tie?

Here are a few symptoms to identify Ankyloglossia.

  • Your child has difficulty sticking their tongue out past the lower front half of the teeth.
  • Your child will have difficulty lifting their tongue to the upper teeth or moving it from one side to another.
  • You are likely to see a notched shape when they stick out their tongue.

What complications arise due to Tongue-tie?

Tongue-tie can cause a number of complications. Let's take a look at them:

  • Breastfeeding problems: As babies have a low range of tongue movements, they are likely to struggle when it comes to sucking. Babies need to keep their tongue over the lower gum when having milk; tongue-tie restricts that from happening.
  • Poor oral health:As the tongue doesn't move beyond their lower teeth, it becomes harder to clean out the food debris from the lower part of the inner teeth. Over time, this could increase the chances of tooth decay.
  • Speech problems:Kids with tongue-tie are likely to struggle to recreate certain sounds. 

Bottom line, tongue-tie can lead to developmental and oral health problems when not identified early. If you notice any of the complications mentioned above in your child, take them to a doctor for a consultation and resolve the issue.

Call Galan Dental at 408-377-8200 or schedule an appointment online to consult our dentist at 1706 Hamilton Ave, San Jose, CA 95125.



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