Tongue-ties are more common than you might think
Also referred to as ankyloglossia, a tongue-tie forms from birth in up to 10 percent of all children, according to the Cleveland Clinic. A tongue-tie restricts the tongue’s range of motion. This manifests in a wide array of ways, affecting how your child eats, speaks, breathes, and hinders the development of the jaw and facial bones.
The effects of a tongue-tie vary depending on your stage of life.
In babies, consequences of a tongue-tie may include:
- Difficulty breastfeeding, such as having to feed too frequently or unable to form a proper latch
- Failure to thrive
- Hindered bond between infant and mother
This also can affect new mothers, leading to problems such as nipple damage or diminished milk supply.
In young children, a tongue-tie might cause:
- Difficulty transitioning to solid food
- Problems swallowing
- Issues with speech development
- Difficulty maintaining proper dental hygiene
Moreover, if a tongue-tie is not detected and treated, the problems magnify. Your child unconsciously develops negative habits to compensate for the lack of proper motion in the tongue. Meanwhile, the restricted motion of the tongue can affect the development of your face and jaws. This can lead to narrow dental arches or a longer facial structure, also elevating the risk of developing a sleep-breathing disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea or even temporomandibular joint disorder.
Adults who have a tongue-tie likely have developed serious issues as a result
- Nutritional deficiencies because of their issues swallowing
- Speech impediment
- Self-esteem issues due to their speaking problems
- Jaw pain
- A recessed chin
- Narrow upper dental arch
- Misaligned teeth
- Unfavorable profile
- Orthodontic relapse
- Mouth breathing
- Sleep apnea
How Lake Forest Smiles Can Help
At Lake Forest Smiles, our dentists can perform a quick and simple examination to detect a tongue-tie. This exam can be conducted even on newborn infants. If a tongue-tie is identified, we can release the restricted frenum through a frenectomy procedure in a matter of minutes. This involves using a state-of-the-art dental laser to release the restricting tissue.
If living with the tongue-tie has led to any negative oral habits, we may prescribe a course of myofunctional therapy to address these issues. This consists of performing a series of simple, pain-free exercises that work the tongue, re-training the muscles and alleviating any of those habits. Myofunctional therapy also improves rest oral posture, which focuses on holding the mouth closed with the tongue resting on the roof of the mouth.
Treating Tongue-Ties in Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Lincolnshire
If you or your child is living with a tongue-tie, simply ignoring it is the worst thing that you can do. This is a serious condition that a qualified medical professional must treat, just like Dr. Campbell and Dr. Schmidt at Lake Forest Smiles.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, call our office at (847) 234-4800. Lake Forest Smiles is here to serve the needs of our patients in the areas of Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Lincolnshire.