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What Is a Tongue Tie?

Posted on 3/15/2024 by Weo Admin
Kids dental examMany adults have heard the expression - tongue-tied - which means you are so shocked or surprised that you are unable to speak. While this is just an expression, there are such things as tongue ties, and it is a condition you need to be aware of. Here is more information about what tongue ties are and how they are treated.

Tongue Ties

Tongue ties are tough strips of skin attaching the tongue to the base of the mouth. This strip of skin is called the frenulum. It is important to have a frenulum to allow the tongue to lay flat on the bottom of the mouth and to allow people to speak and eat properly. Often, tongue ties are found in babies or very young children. Tongue ties can range from a mild problem to a severe problem.

If your infant has a tongue tie, it may be difficult for them to take a bottle or breastfeed properly. Young children with tongue ties may not be able to stick their tongues out fully or raise their tongues to touch the roof of their mouths. Children with tongue ties can also have speech impediments, especially when they are trying to make l, r, or s sounds, because of tongue placement.

How Are Tongue Ties Fixed?

People with mild tongue ties may not need any treatment at all. You must monitor your baby to make sure they are breastfeeding properly and continuing to gain weight. If your baby or child has a severe tongue tie, they may need to have a simple procedure to cut the tongue tie and free the tongue, called a frenectomy. Our dentist can make a tiny incision in the strip of tough skin and cartilage that is holding the tongue down. First, the dentist will numb the area, and then they make an incision to release the tongue tie. After that, your child may need occupational or speech therapy to know how to use their tongue correctly.

Are you unsure whether your child has a tongue tie? We can help. Contact our office today to make an appointment.

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