A tongue-tie, also referred to as ankyloglossia is a medical problem often seen in babies where a tight piece of skin exists between the underside of their tongue and the floor of their mouth.
A tongue-tie can impede breast-feeding, tongue mobility, proper oral hygiene, and the ability to communicate and be understood. It can cause difficulty chewing food or swallowing liquids and solids and can also impact nighttime sleep breathing.
Some signs of tongue-tie in babies include clocking sounds, requiring more feedings, falling asleep at the breast, biting down on nipple. Trouble latching, and a struggle to gain weight.
Red flags in toddlers, school-aged children, and teenagers include being messy eaters or picky eaters, pocketing food in their cheeks, and increase in oral sensitivities (hyperactive gag), stomachaches due to extra air in the stomach, taking a long time to complete a meal, and difficulty pronouncing certain sounds and letter combinations.
The good news is that we can correct this problem with a simple procedure called a frenectomy. This procedure can easily be done as early as the day after birth, leaving your baby without any pain. First, the dentist performs an oral exam of your child’s mouth to determine the severity of the tie. Then, if necessary, the dentist removes the small section of the restrictive frenum with either scissors or a laser. Once the procedure is complete, your child will experience little to no discomfort.
In young children, adolescents and teens, we will teach you and your child some exercises to perform daily that will help your child reach maximum mobility!
If you are concerned that your child may have a tongue-tie, please contact our office. We are happy to perform an assessment and offer a simple solution!