Is your child finding difficulty in speaking simple words? Most probably, he may be suffering from tongue-tie condition. Also known by the name of ankyloglossia, Tongue Tie is a congenital condition that restricts the normal range of motion of the tongue. The bottom of the tongue’s tip is bonded to the mouth floor with a short band of tissues, lingual frenulum. As a result, your children find it hard to swallow, eat or speak. Such a condition needs immediate medical attention.
What Causes Tongue-Tie In Children?
Under normal circumstances, lingual frenulum is disconnected prior to the birth, permitting the tongue to move freely. When it sticks to the bottom, restricting free movement of the tongue, it causes tongue tie. Presence of lingual frenulum even after birth is the reason behind your child not being able to speak.
Symptoms of Tongue-Tie Condition
There are some common symptoms that should tell you that your child is suffering from a tongue-tie condition.
- Difficulty in lifting up the tongue
- Inflexible movement of the tongue
- On sticking out the tongue, it appears either notched or heart shaped
- Difficulty in swallowing and eating food.
- Loss of weight or underweight conditions.
- Excess stammering, difficulty in talking.
Diagnosing The Condition In Children
A general examination is required by the doctors to diagnose the presence of tongue-tie or lingual frenulum in children. Physicians may also use screening tools to figure out important parameters of the tongue, such as the ability to move, and its appearance. Once the condition is diagnosed, the doctor will suggest ideal treatment options depending upon the severity of the condition.
In some of the cases, the tongue tie condition can be resolved over time with the lingual frenulum loosening eventually. In rest of the cases, it can cause discomfort and pain to children suffering from prolonged situation. In that case, surgical treatments come to rescue, with two of the prominent ones being:
- Frenulosplasty: If the lingual frenulum is quite a thick band of tissues with a strong hold, Frenuloplasty may be the only option to cure it. This extensive surgical process requires surgical tools and general anesthesia. After the treatment, absorbent sutures are used to close the wound at the healing area of the tongue. Possible complications accompanying the process are damage to tongue and salivary glands, bleeding and infections. The child may also suffer from abnormal reactions to anesthesia and scarring. Post operation, the doctor may advise certain exercises to improve speech, reduce scarring effect and enhance tongue movements.
- Frenectomy: This surgical treatment can be performed with or without anesthesia. At first, the lingual frenulum is examined, and the tissue is snipped free with the help of sterile scissors. Being a quick treatment, it causes little discomfort to the child, as there are only few nerve tips and blood vessels in the frenulum. Rarely will you will find any complication with this process.
Feel free to give us a call today and set an appointment with Dr. Samadi to know more about these treatments!