5 Things You Might Not Know About Tongue-Tie in Children

The examination of newborn baby mouth, frenulum of the tongue

Parents have enough worries and challenges about their children’s well-being, let alone worrying about their ability to eat, swallow, or speak. Sadly, tongue-tie is a condition that is far more common than one might think. In fact, tongue-tie affects upwards of 11% of infants.

This condition can have a big impact on your child’s growth and development but there are a lot of misconceptions that can cause confusion and even delay resolving it with proper treatment.

Read on to learn some facts that you might not know about tongue-ties in babies and how to get early intervention for tongue-tie symptoms.

1. Tongue-Tie Won’t Go Away on Its Own

Unlike some things that babies grow out of, a tongue-tie won’t correct itself. It’s caused by a thick piece of tissue under the tongue that doesn’t stretch well, affecting a child’s ability to breastfeed, eat, and even speak properly. Without treatment, it can cause issues like difficulty speaking, snoring, and even chronic pain later in life.

The signs of tongue-tie may include:

  • Inability to extend the tongue beyond the lips

  • Difficulty touching the tongue tip to the roof of the mouth

  • Limited sideways movement of the tongue to the corners of the mouth

  • Tongue tip appears flat or square instead of pointed when extended

  • Tongue tip looks notched or heart-shaped

  • A gap in the front teeth of the lower jaw

2. Speech Issues Can Result from Tongue-Tie

Speech therapy might not be as effective for children with tongue-tie because the physical restriction interferes with normal speech. This can also lead to dental problems as kids try to compensate for their restricted tongue movement.

Kids with tongue-tie may have difficulties in creating sounds like:

  • Sounds that require the tongue or tongue tip to touch the roof of the mouth, such as 't', 'd', 'n', 'l', 's', and 'z'

  • Sounds that require the tongue to arch off the floor of the mouth, like the 'r' sound

3. Clipping Isn’t Always the Best Solution for Tongue-Tie

While a simple snip of the tissue (frenectomy) is a potentially viable solution for the tongue-to-the-floor condition, it can leave behind thick tissue that needs further treatment. Plus, there’s a chance the tissue could grow back in the lingual frenulum requiring additional procedures after the frenectomy.

4. “Wait and See” Is Never a Good Approach with Tongue-Tie

Waiting to see if the problem resolves itself can lead to more difficulties for both the baby and the mother, especially during breastfeeding. It’s not just about feeding problems — issues like gas, slow feeding, and reflux can also be linked to tongue-tie.

5. Your Body Will Show Signs That Your Baby’s Tongue Needs Attention

If you notice signs like painful breastfeeding, damaged nipples, or a clicking noise while feeding, it might be worth getting your baby checked. Of course, these signs could indicate other issues, but they’re commonly associated with tongue-tie.

Is Laser Surgery a Safer Option for Tongue-Tie Patients in Palo Alto?

Laser surgery is considered far safer and less painful than traditional methods. Laser frenectomy benefits provide better precision and reduce the risk of bleeding, offering a quicker and smoother recovery.

For parents that have children with tongue-tie in Palo Alto or the greater Silicon Valley area, addressing tongue-tie early on with laser surgery can prevent a whole host of problems down the road, from speech issues to breastfeeding difficulties. If you suspect your baby might have a tongue-tie, it’s worth getting it checked out sooner rather than later.

If you’re considering tongue-tie surgery in Palo Alto for your little one, we’re experts at Little Bytes in resolving tongue-tie quickly, painlessly, and efficiently with our Solea Laser. With this innovative technology, your baby can receive the care they need. Our highly trained, and board-certified pediatric dentist team, has over a decade of experience in pediatric dentistry and we’re here to ensure the finest care so that you and your child are comfortable with this procedure.

Want to learn more about how Little Bytes can resolve your child’s tongue-tie condition with our laser technology?

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