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922 Waltham St #202 Lexington, MA 02421

922 Waltham St #202 Lexington, MA 02421

A Helpful Guide to Understanding Ankyloglossia in Children

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Regardless of where you’re from or who you are, parents would know that all children deserve to access proper nutrition and can communicate effectively. It’s essential to help them grow healthy. It also lets them build healthy relationships with the people around them. 

Unfortunately, not all kids can enjoy these fundamental rights because of medical conditions like ankyloglossia or tongue tie. While feeling distressed may be understandable, you must be a responsible parent by educating yourself about this condition and finding a reputable tongue-tie dentist near your locality. 

If you want to improve your child’s quality of life, let this article be a helpful guide to understanding ankyloglossia in children. 

What Is Ankyloglossia in Children?

Tongue-tie or ankyloglossia is a congenital condition that affects the tongue. It can cause speaking and eating difficulties in children. The frenulum is a small tissue that connects the body part to the floor of the mouth that you can see by looking under it in a mirror. 

How Does It Happen?

At birth, some kids may have a short and tight frenulum that attaches to the tip of their tongue instead of the back. It can restrict their tongue’s movements, making them struggle to stick it out, move it sidewards, or touch their upper teeth. Also, it may have a notch at the end, affecting their speech and eating abilities.

Is Tongue-Tie Different for All Children?

Tongue-tie is not the same in every child, and dentists or doctors categorize it depending on how much the tongue can move. There are four classes of tongue-tie, with class 1 being mild and class 4 being severe, where the body part has limited or no movement. This condition only affects a tiny percentage of babies born yearly, with slightly more boys experiencing this condition than girls.

What Causes Tongue-Tie in a Child?

Tongue-tie occurs when the tongue and frenulum do not develop normally, and healthcare providers don’t fully understand the cause. However, they could link it to your family health history because it can run in some families.

What Are the Effects of Tongue-Tie on a Child?

This condition may cause problems with breastfeeding, making certain sounds, dental health, and activities like playing wind instruments or kissing. It may also cause embarrassment or social problems. Moreover, while most babies with tongue-tie don’t struggle to breastfeed, it can cause nipple pain or affect weight gain. Tongue-tie rarely causes other issues like cleft lip or palate.

How Can a Doctor or Dentist Diagnose Tongue-Tie in a Child?

A healthcare professional or dentist can determine if your child has a tongue tie by reviewing their medical history and scheduling a physical examination. They will examine your child’s tongue and assess its movements. If your infant experiences breastfeeding difficulties, their healthcare provider may suspect a tongue tie as a possible cause and refer them to an otolaryngologist for further evaluation.

How Will Your Healthcare Provider Treat Tongue-Tie in Your Child?

Your healthcare provider may not recommend treatment if your child has mild or no symptoms. The frenulum may naturally move backward between six months and six years and solve the problem. Also, your child may find ways to work around the problem.

If breastfeeding is problematic, your doctor may recommend visiting a specialist for assessment and treatment, like speech therapy or surgery. A frenotomy is a simple surgery that cuts the frenulum to let the tongue move normally, and some children may need a frenectomy or frenuloplasty. You should also talk to your child’s doctor about the risks and advantages of these procedures.

Conclusion

No child should live with ankyloglossia because it can negatively affect their quality of life. You can help your little one speak and eat better by educating yourself about this condition and talking to a reputable tongue-tie dentist. 

If you need a professional tongue-tie dentist near Lexington, MA, for your child’s condition, visit Lexington Smile Studio! Our dental practice is committed to helping little ones speak and eat more confidently with our quality services. Book an appointment now!

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