What is Tongue Tie in Children

Do you have a child that issues with feeding, speech articulation, or latching when breastfeeding? These difficulties may be caused by an anatomical variation known as a tongue knot. Tongue tie is a disorder in which there is an overabundance of tissue connecting the underside of the mouth to the base of the tongue, causing difficulties for your child.

In this article, we will define tongue tie and describe its symptoms so that parents may determine if their child needs diagnosis and treatment.

What is a Tongue Tie? 

Tongue tie, commonly known as ankyloglossia, develops prior to birth. The link between the front of the tongue and the floor of the mouth typically disappears as the infant grows. The tongue’s back remains attached.

Occasionally, the frenulum may be too short or excessively tight. It may remain near the front of the tongue and bind the tongue’s tip to the floor of the mouth.

Tongue ties can range from minor, where just a little fold of tissue holds the tip of the tongue, to severe, where the entire base of the tongue is connected to the floor of the mouth. This condition is known as anterior tongue tie. There may also be posterior tongue knots in which a thick, tight frenulum towards the base of the tongue limits the tongue’s movement.

What causes tongue tie in a child?

When the tongue and frenulum do not form normally, tongue-tie occurs. Healthcare professionals are uncertain as to the specific cause of this. Some families are predisposed to tongue-tie; hence, your family medical history may play a role.

Signs of Tongue Tie

1. Difficulty latching and feeding

When newborns breastfeed or bottle feed, their lower jaw is lifted during sucking, and they use their upper gum and tongue tip (which sits on the lower gum) to secure the nipple/bottle. 

As the latch is frequently shallow, tongue tie and lip tie may hinder the newborn from getting enough breast tissue into the mouth to latch for feeding properly. Some newborns may be able to latch but lack the ability to perform the correct sucking motions. Tongue ties may also impede peristaltic tongue movements, which are required to transport food from the front to the rear of the mouth prior to swallowing. This can lead to a suboptimal pattern of sucking, swallowing, and breathing.

2. Audible Clicking During Feeding

An infant with a tongue tie will not be able to properly seal around the breast, resulting in clicking sounds as the suction constantly breaks. Sometimes a click is natural and doesn’t indicate anything is wrong, but if it’s painful or the baby isn’t gaining weight as planned, it might be a sign of tongue tie.

 3. Repeated Mastitis

Mastitis is an infection or inflammation of the breast that decreases a mother’s ability to make milk. When a newborn suffers tongue-tie, recurrent mastitis is a concern since the infant cannot sufficiently feed themselves.

Your milk supply may decrease if your infant has difficulty latching on and eating. Your nipples may be sensitive or cracked, making nursing uncomfortable. Ineffective latching and feeding can result in engorged breasts, which can eventually lead to mastitis.

You could be experiencing a hard time falling asleep due to this. 

1. Recessed Chin

Many children with tongue-tie have a sunken chin; however, other infants may have this trait owing to heredity even if they do not have tongue-tie.

It is crucial to perform a thorough examination to determine if your newborn has a tongue tie, as breastfeeding is essential to motherhood for many parents. If you suspect that your infant has this condition, be sure to get in touch with our dental office immediately.

2. Treatment for Tongue Tie

In other instances, tongue-tie does not generate apparent symptoms. Infants and young children with tongue-tie who do not experience eating, swallowing, or speaking difficulties may not require therapy.

If your kid has problems eating due to tongue-tie, their healthcare professional can conduct tongue-tie surgery in which the lingual frenulum is clipped.

If your infant is less than one year old and has difficulty eating, the doctor may perform a medical treatment (frenotomy) to clip the lingual frenulum (frenotomy). Whether your infant has tongue-tie and is able to eat normally, you may decide to wait and see if the lingual frenulum extends on its own.

Always get in touch with your dentist or orthodontist in your area.

A tongue tie can negatively affect a person’s quality of life. If you believe that you or your child may have a tongue tie, the best course of action is to consult with a primary care provider or an orthodontist. During a physical examination, the healthcare provider will look for certain signs and symptoms that are associated with tongue tie. If you would like more information on tongue ties or other types of dental problems, please get in touch with a pediatric dentist in Burke, VA. They will be happy to help you identify any potential problems and devise a treatment plan.