Tongue-Tie

Tongue-Tie

Tounge-Tie, also known as Ankyloglossia is an oral condition that can impact many things in a baby’s childhood and later life, from breastfeeding to causing issues with their breathing, to speech and dental health. This condition is present from birth and restricts the tongue’s motion range, causing complications until it is treated.

With tongue-tie, a short and thick band of tissue called the lingual frenulum ties the bottom of the tongue to the floor of the mouth, hence the name Tongue-Tie.

Treatment options are available if your child suffers from this condition, which consists of a simple surgical procedure.

Causes of Tongue-Tie

Just before you are born, the lingual frenulum separates itself which allows your tongue to carry out all the motions and functions it will need to do later in life, but with tongue-tie, it remains attached to the bottom of your tongue.

The cause of this is currently unknown, but genetics and family histories of tongue-tie are suspected to play a part in the development of this birth condition.

This condition can affect girls as well as boys, but boys are more prone to suffering from it.

Symptoms of Tongue-Tie

When a baby suffers from Tongue-Tie, it can cause complications with their oral development, the way they eat, the way they speak, and the way they swallow. Symptoms and complications typically include:

  • Difficulty lifting the tongue and making motions with it, such as struggling to lift the tongue to the upper teeth or side-to-side.
  • Struggling to stick their tongue out past the lower set of front teeth.
  • The tongue may appear heart-shaped when sticking out.
  • The baby may struggle to breastfeed, this is due to the fact that in order to do so the baby needs to keep their tongue over the lower gum; if this cannot be done then they might chew instead of suck the nipple.
  • Difficulty making certain sounds such as “T”, “D” or “Z”.
  • Poor oral hygiene, which leads to tooth decay or gingivitis (gum inflammation).

Treatments for Tongue-Tie

If your baby or child is suffering from Tongue-Tie, there is a procedure available to avoid future complications. The Tongue-Tie Procedure is a simple procedure where the tongue is released by snipping the lingual frenulum with a pair of sterilised scissors.

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