Tongue tie is something some new parents may not be aware of and therein lies the problem as lots of parents are unable to recognise the signs of Tongue Tie and therefore, it goes unnoticed for potentially, a significant amount of time.
Tongue tie is something some new parents may not be aware of and therein lies the problem as lots of parents are unable to recognise the signs of Tongue Tie and therefore, it goes unnoticed for potentially, a significant amount of time. Early intervention is important for Tongue Tie treatment and it can help make the solution a lot quicker and easier on the child. Here is some information about Tongue Tie.
What is Tongue Tie?
Tongue Tie is a condition that affects thousands of children and adults. In some cases, many adults suffer in silence because they haven’t recognised the problem or that it can be rectified. Tongue Tie – also known as ‘Ankyloglossia’ or ‘anchored tongue’ – is a common condition. Tongue tie occurs when the small piece of tissue - the frenulum, attaches to the tongue and to the floor of the mouth. This can obviously, restrict movement of the tongue. It is more common in boys and can run in some families, however, the exact cause is not known yet.
How does it affect sufferers?
As the tongue cannot move freely - as it usually should, Tongue Tie can cause several problems including:
- Inability to suck – this is especially distressing for babies and parents alike
- Problems with chewing can be present and therefore, digestion issues can be another issue especially in young tots.
- Issues with licking
- Babies can experience problems with breastfeeding and it can be painful for mums
Poor speech or difficulties in pronunciation
- The structure of a sufferer’s face can be affected as well as their oral function too
- Teeth appearance can be poor and crooked teeth is almost a certainty
- Breathing can be an issue if the tongue falls back into the throat area, therefore, blocking the airways.
- Sleep can be a problem as with the above, the airway is negatively affected.
- Difficulty in moving the tongue around the mouth especially up to upper teeth and moving tongue from side to side.
Most of these difficulties are noticed when a person is young but, in some cases, it is only when a child grows up that they realise the problem of kissing or speaking can be affected. It is better to get it treated at a young age though.
How can it be recognised?
It is usually seen at birth but sometimes it can go unnoticed. Once a parent notices such problems with their babies tongue it is advised they seek medical advice. Parents may notice that their baby’s tongue is notched or heart-shaped when stuck out.
How is it fixed?
Once you get medical advice and Tongue Tie is confirmed, medical professionals may advise treatment straight away and this may include a procedure to release a tongue tie. For young babies, this is not invasive and is done by a doctor under a local anaesthetic. However, older children may require a general anaesthetic. There are usually no complications and it is not a terrifying procedure though it is natural for parents to worry. Complications are extremely rare but can include bleeding, infection, or damage to the tongue.
If you recognise the signs of Tongue Tie in your youngster ask a doctor for their advice and don’t leave it too long.