Tongue-tie is a condition that affects the frenulum, which is the tissue under the tongue that connects it to the floor of the mouth. It is also called ‘ankyloglossia.’ Most tongue ties are not noticeable to others. However, if left untreated, they can cause problems with feeding, speaking, and even proper breathing. Let’s take a look at the different ways a tongue-tie can affect a person’s life.
If you have a short frenulum, you are at risk of sleep apnea, a disorder where a person is often awakened by obstructions to their airways. When a tongue tie is present, the tongue may not be able to calm itself down during the night and therefore block the path of the airway. If you tend to have a high frequency of obstruction or cannot breathe while you sleep, it is possible that the only thing that will help the situation is the tongue tie’s removal.
Breathing Through the Mouth
While some people claim to be able to breathe just fine when their tongue is tied, others struggle to even breathe through their mouth. The tongue will often press against the windpipe and block the airflow, making you have to open your mouth to breathe easier.
Tongue ties also make certain consonants like S, T, L, and more become difficult to pronounce. While some people are not bothered by the inability to speak properly due to their tongue-tie, others may feel embarrassed by the way they talk. You may wonder how you can be understood when you talk with a tongue-tie or may feel self-conscious.
Poor Range of Motion for Tongue
While some people with tongue ties cannot move their tongue as they would like, others cannot even stick their tongue out properly. The tongue-tie can cause the tongue to bend inwards, making it difficult to move it. For babies, a tongue-tie may also cause the tongue to curl, making it impossible to suckle properly, which can cause problems with breastfeeding and bottle feeding.
Unmanageable Oral Health
When you don’t have a fully formed frenulum, you may have problems with your oral health. Poor mobility with your tongue can cause food to get stuck between the teeth. You may also experience bad breath and gum disease.
Problems with Swallowing
When a person has a tongue-tie, it can cause a number of issues with swallowing. Many people with tongue ties have difficulty swallowing food and experience gagging and choking. The tongue is supposed to come forward in order to swallow, but when a tongue tie is present, it cannot do so properly.
Many of these problems can be resolved through frenotomy, which is the cutting of the frenulum. However, it is essential to talk to a doctor before undergoing any procedure. Tongue ties can affect your overall development and quality of life, so it’s important to seek treatment before it gets too bad.
If you’re in need of a laser tongue-tie release, get checked for a frenectomy at Lexington Smile Studio. Our surgeons can help take care of your problem and improve your quality of life with a quick and painless procedure!