We often tease children with the phrase “are you tongue-tied” when they appear shy around strangers. For many people, this comment offers a world of truth as being “tongue-tied” is actually a condition that can have mild to severe side effects.
Visiting a family dentist in Etobicoke can help young children and adults who deal with the medical condition. While a number of people can live regular lives without complications, there are some who develop physical, mental, and emotional conditions that interfere with their daily life activities related to the condition of being tongue-tied.
What Is Tongue-Tie?
The tongue-tie condition is medically referred to as ankyloglossia. Forming at birth, the tongue’s lingual frenum is unusually short and thick, inhibiting the range of motion required. This band of connective tissue is responsible for holding the tongue to the floor of the mouth in all humans.
Symptoms of Tongue-Tie
Depending on the severity of the condition of the web of tissue, the symptoms can range from restriction in moving the tongue from side-to-side, lifting the tongue, or even sticking the tongue out past the front teeth or lips. Other signs can include, but not be limited to, difficulty breastfeeding, a notch in the tip of the tongue or difficulty eating solid foods.
How Is Tongue-Tie Diagnosed?
Severe cases are often diagnosed in infancy by a physician during a physical examination. With any early signs, a physician will use a particular screening tool to measure the tongue’s appearance and movement. Dentists are trained to recognize even the most subtle conditions of being tongue-tied.
Why Is Tongue-Tie a Problem?
Dentists often treat tongue-tie conditions as it can have a determinantal effect on a person’s ability to eat, swallow, and even speak. Infants need specific movement of the tongue to suckle and receive proper nutrition. In older children, the condition can cause speech development issues with pronunciation of “t”,“d”,“z”, “s”, “th”, “r”, and “l”.
When it comes to oral health, the tongue-tie condition can increase the risk of tooth decay and gingivitis as the person cannot properly move their tongue around the mouth to remove food particles stuck in the teeth. A tight and enlarged lingual frenum can also force the bottom teeth to form a large gap and hinder the ability to wear dentures when needed.
How Can a Dentist Help Get Rid of Your Tongue-Tie Issues?
As the positioning of the tongue plays a crucial role in the physical development and day-to-day living of a person, tongue-tie surgery is a common solution. Consulting with a dentist can reduce the risk for potential oral problems as well as improve the ability to eat, speak, and sleep.
A surgical procedure known as a frenectomy alters one or both portions of the lingual frenum. A laser or surgical scissors are used to cut, modify, or remove the connecting tissue to improve the movement of the tongue.
Visit Princeview Dental in Etobicoke
If you are concerned about a tongue-tie condition, contact Princeview Dental Group, a family and emergency dental clinic in Etobicoke. Our team is familiar with this and other oral conditions that may interfere with your daily living activities. Call (416) 231-4562 to book a consultation.