The term “getting tongue-tied” is commonly used but, many don’t know that it’s an actual condition in children. Tongue-tie, also known as ankyloglossia, is something that occurs at birth that can limit a child’s range of motion with their tongue. This isn’t always caught at the hospital but, it can be caught at home. If you’re not sure whether or not your child has tongue-tie, you can check first, by going through the symptoms listed below.
- The baby is having difficulty pushing their tongue out past the teeth.
- The baby is having difficulty touching their top row of teeth with their tongue.
- The baby is having difficulty moving their tongue from side to side.
- The baby has a tongue with a notch or heart shape in it.
All of these symptoms can lead to other symptoms such as poor oral hygiene, troubles breastfeeding, troubles talking or babbling, troubles with basic things such as licking and kissing, and overall, it can interfere with a child’s oral development in general.
When Should I See a Doctor?
If can be hard as a parent on when to make the decision to see a doctor over such matters. However, if you have any close family members who have tongue-tie and they struggle with the symptoms as an adult, this may be a good indication that your child may struggle with the same later on. If you have another child in the house that’s older and they exhibit issues or complain about issues of their tongue limiting them while eating, talking, etc. then this could also be an indication that your baby will struggle as well. If your baby is showing signs of struggling to do things like nurse, baby talk, etc. then it’s time to see a doctor. Any of these reasons make it a good idea to contact a professional about the issue. It never hurts to double check on things like this since it can affect their speech, eating, and overall, oral health and development as they age.
A Few Facts About Tongue-Tie
Tongue-tie is actually more common in boys than it is girls. They’re unsure of why this is but, more cases occur with baby boys than girls, on average. Tongue-tie is where the lingual frenulum doesn’t separate when it’s supposed to, causing the tongue to be stuck almost in place, without free-range of motion. Again, they’re unsure of what causes this and why it occurs, but, it can be relatively easy to fix and rarely causes any major issues. It’s always best to seek a professional’s advice if you think your children might have tongue-tie. The sooner the better so their oral health and development isn’t affected. A consultation to ensure the best oral health and development for your child is worth it and is never a bad idea or waste of time.