Tongue-Tie

Tongue-tie, also known as ankyloglossia, is an oral health condition that negatively impacts the tongue’s ability to move. It’s present at birth, but may go undiagnosed for years, even into adulthood in some cases. This condition can make it difficult for a baby to breastfeed, as well as interfere with eating, speaking, and swallowing later in life. Fortunately, there are treatments available for tongue-tie.

What Causes Tongue-Tie?

In a healthy mouth, there is a band of tissue called the lingual frenulum that attaches a person’s tongue to the floor of their mouth during fetal development. Typically, the frenulum separates before a person is born, which allows them to move their tongue freely.

In cases of tongue-tie, an individual’s lingual frenulum remains attached and is either too short or too tight to allow normal tongue movement. The impact of tongue-tie may be anywhere from very mild to severe, which is why it can go unnoticed for months, years, or decades.

Symptoms of tongue-tie include:

  • Difficulty latching during breastfeeding, which may also lead to a baby constantly feeling hungry even after being fed
  • Speech impediments in childhood, particularly with the following sounds: th, l, s, z, and r.
  • Difficulty eating certain foods or playing wind instruments
  • Tooth decay and / or gum inflammation due to an inability in using the tongue to sweep across the surface of teeth
  • Inability to stick the tongue out of the mouth
  • Malformation of the palate and under development of the maxilla and midface

Treatment for Tongue-Tie

It is possible for tongue-tie to clear up on its own. As time passes, the lingual frenulum may loosen to a point where it no longer causes health concerns.

However, in cases where treatment is determined to be necessary, the most common procedure to correct the issue is called a frenotomy.

A frenotomy can be performed quickly and easily in a doctor or dentist’s office. During this procedure, a doctor or dentist will simply cut the frenulum free, which is often painless or mildly uncomfortable at most (as there are not many nerves or blood vessels in the frenulum).

In addition, recovery time is almost immediate for this procedure and there is very little risk of complications.

If you suspect that your child may have tongue-tie, call us at 303-423-0930 and request an appointment online at our office in Arvada, CO. today. Our award-winning dental professionals are experienced in providing tongue-tie care. We strive to provide excellent care for residents in and around Arvada, CO, including the nearby communities of Wheat Ridge, Golden, Broomfield, Lakewood, and Westminster.

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