What is a tongue tie? What are the Symptoms and Treatment?

If your child cannot say some letters and has difficulty in speaking and swallowing, the reason may be tongue tie.

If you want to learn how the tongue tie problem develops in children and babies, what are the symptoms and treatment methods, you should read our article!

What is tongue tie?

tongue tie; It is a piece of tissue that allows the tongue to attach to the floor of the mouth. When the embryo is in its 4th week in the womb, the tongue does not yet reach the necessary freedom, it is attached to the floor of the mouth. In the following weeks, the tongue becomes freer by separating from the floor of the mouth, but still, a connective tissue called the frenulum develops under it so that it does not completely separate from here. The frenulum may suffer some problems during the development of the embryo and as a result it cannot reach the required length. In this case, the baby may be born with Ankyloglossia , or tongue tie, and may experience some problems.

How to understand tongue tie?

In your child;

  • Inability to grasp the nipple and accordingly breast rejection ,
  • Excessive sweating while breastfeeding
  • articulation problems,
  • I can’t say some words

– Inability to make sounds such as l, r, s, t, z ,

  • If you see symptoms such as the frenulum reaching the tip of the tongue, not under the tongue, and having webbed edges, you can consult a specialist.

When the doctor detects that his child has tongue-tie, he may recommend surgical intervention to solve all other problems, especially speech disorder. However, studies conducted in recent years show that while tongue tie is seen in ten percent of babies, its incidence decreases as age progresses. You should get detailed information about the results and risks of the surgery from the specialist physician.

Does tongue tie in babies go away on their own?

According to some experts, if the tongue tie is slightly curved and does not interfere with feeding, there is no need for surgery. However, if the doctor thinks that this situation will cause problems in the future or in the near future, surgery is necessary.

How is tongue tie surgery performed?

First, “When should the tongue tie be cut?” Let’s answer the question. Surgery can be performed after the baby is 6 months old.

Although we said surgery, do not be afraid, this procedure is quite easy. Your doctor applies local anesthetic to your child and makes a small incision in the tongue tie with the help of a scalpel or scissors. Thus, the tongue tie cutting process is completed. There are also experts who perform this process with the laser method.

  • Your doctor may also recommend general anesthesia if your baby is very small, active, or afraid.
  • In sublingual ligament surgery, no sutures are usually made. However, if the tongue tie is large or wide, stitching may occur.
  • “ Which doctor do you go to for tongue tie? If you’re wondering, let’s answer. Tongue tie surgeries are performed by ENT (ear-nose-throat) specialists.
  • Mild pain and bleeding may occur after the surgery. But overall it is a painless procedure.

What happens after tongue tie surgery?

How is nutrition after tongue tie surgery?

If the child’s operation was performed under local anesthesia, he can eat and drink half an hour after the operation. However, he should not consume very hot, cold, bitter, acidic and salty foods. In addition, if the baby is sucking, he can start feeding during the same period. It may even be beneficial for the breast milk incision site.

If the operation was performed with general anesthesia, approximately 4 hours are waited for the drugs to completely leave the body. After this period, the child can start feeding. Drinking water during the healing process of tongue tie surgery is effective on healing as it will increase the fluid in the mouth.

How does speech develop after tongue tie surgery?

After tongue tie surgery, the child’s tongue movements should be activated. It is important at this stage to encourage conversational but fluent speech. Sucking and blowing activities are among tongue exercises and are beneficial after tongue tie surgery.

After the tongue cut heals, the child begins to pronounce the “l, r, s, t, z” sounds that he cannot make more easily. This process can take 5-6 months.

However, if the articulation disorder persists after a long time after the surgery, speech therapy can be started. Sometimes there is a possibility that there is another situation underlying this problem. Therefore, a detailed examination is required.

What problems does tongue tie cause?

speech disorder

Mothers “ Does tongue tie prevent speech? They are very curious about the answer to the question. tongue tie; prevent your child from making certain sounds. These sounds are especially those made by touching the upper palate and teeth. Speech impairment is most common when a child is speaking quickly. In other words, the reason for the problems of speaking late or not speaking at all is not tongue-tie.

A specialist doctor should be consulted in order to determine the causes of delayed speech or inability to speak in children.

not getting enough nutrition

Breastfed babies cannot get enough nutrition because they cannot fully grasp the breast due to tongue-tie and may experience weight loss as a result. In addition, nutritional disorders may occur because they cannot push back the food they take with their tongue.

tooth decay

After eating, we clean our mouth a little with our tongue. However, children with tongue-tie cannot clean their mouths because their tongue movements are limited. Tooth decay occurs when time intervenes with tooth brushing.

Bad breath

Again, due to the same reasons as tooth decay, the accumulation of food in the mouth due to the inability to push back with the help of the tongue causes bacteria formation. This also causes bad breath.

Disorders in language structure

Since the frenulum constantly tugs on the tongue, there may be deformities in the tongue over time. Forked tongue is one of them.

psychological problems

Untreated tongue-tie prevents the child from speaking as he grows up and begins to have problems in communicating with people. This will negatively affect their psychology in the future.

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