What does it mean to be Tongue Tied? And what do I need to do?
What is tongue-tie? Tongue-tie (Ankyloglossia) is a problem that is present at birth. It happens when the tissue that attaches the tongue to the bottom of the mouth (lingual frenulum) is too short. Tongue-tie can limit the movement of the tongue. If you suspect that your child is tongue-tied, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a pediatrician or a pediatric dentist. Sometimes, kids go undiagnosed till later in life such as age 8-10. Your pediatrician or dentist will be able to assess your child's condition and provide appropriate guidance and treatment options. Here are some steps you can take:
- Consultation with a healthcare professional: Schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional who has experience in evaluating tongue-tie conditions in children. They will examine your child's tongue and assess the extent of the tongue-tie.
- Evaluation of feeding and speech difficulties: Tongue-tie can sometimes cause difficulties with breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, or speech development. Discuss any concerns you have regarding your child's feeding or speech with the healthcare professional.
- Treatment options: Depending on the severity of the tongue-tie and its impact on your child's well-being, the healthcare professional may recommend treatment options. This can include a simple procedure called a frenectomy, where the tight band of tissue (lingual frenulum) is released to improve tongue movement. Usually done same day with a laser (no bleeding) and post discomfort is minimal to none.
- Post-procedure care: If a frenotomy or any other treatment is performed, the healthcare professional will provide instructions on post-procedure care. This may include exercises or stretches to help the tongue heal and regain full mobility.
- Follow-up appointments: It is important to attend any recommended follow-up appointments to monitor your child's progress and ensure proper healing. If the child is older than 6 years of age, it is critical to involve a speech therapist during the process to make sure speech is not affected.
Remember, every child is unique, and the treatment plan may vary based on individual circumstances. Seeking professional advice is crucial to determine the best course of action for your child's specific situation. Also to consider is that not all tongue tied cases need treatment.
If you have further questions, please fell free to contact out office for further information or to discuss the matter with Dr. Nizam during your consultation.