A tongue tie is one of the easiest congenital anomalies to correct, but the effects of it can be quite challenging to live with if left untreated. Learn more about the effects of tongue ties in infants, children, and adults below, and schedule an appointment with Newcastle City Dental should you suspect that you or your child may have a tongue tie.
The Effects of Tongue Ties On Infants, Children, and Adults
A tongue tie is a condition where the tongue is attached to the bottom of the mouth via abnormally thick, short, or tight tissue. This can restrict tongue movement and affect speech, feeding, and oral hygiene.
Tongue ties are usually present at birth and can be genetic. Some infants with tongue ties may have difficulty breastfeeding, as the tongue may not move properly to create a proper seal around the nipple. This can lead to poor milk transfer, affecting infant growth and development.
In older children and adults, tongue ties can lead to speech difficulties, including difficulty with certain sounds or words, and issues with oral hygiene due to restricted tongue movement.
Sometimes,, tongue ties may need to be treated with a simple surgical procedure called a frenectomy, in which the frenulum is cut to release the tongue. This can improve tongue movement and improve speech, feeding, and oral hygiene. A pediatric dentist or oral surgeon can evaluate and recommend appropriate treatment for tongue ties.
Signs and Symptoms of Tongue Ties
It is possible for a tongue tie to be missed at birth, but it is never too late to have it released.
Some common signs and symptoms of tongue tie in infants and young children include:
- Difficulty latching during breastfeeding.
- Poor weight gain or slow growth.
- Difficulty sticking out the tongue or moving it side to side.
- Inability to lift the tongue to the roof of the mouth.
- Speech delays or difficulties, such as difficulty with certain sounds or words.
- Mouth breathing or snoring during sleep.
- Difficulty with solid foods or chewing.
- Dental problems, such as cavities or tooth decay, due to difficulty maintaining proper oral hygiene.
In older children and adults, common signs and symptoms of tongue tie can include:
- Speech difficulties, such as difficulty with certain sounds or words.
- Difficulty moving the tongue freely or fully extending it out of the mouth.
- Chronic bad breath or halitosis.
- Difficulty maintaining proper oral hygiene.
- Increased risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
- Sleep apnea or snoring during sleep.
If you or your child are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek evaluation by a paediatric dentist or oral surgeon, who can determine if a tongue tie is present and recommend the appropriate treatment. Schedule a consultation with Newcastle City Dental today!