Tongue Tie In Toddlers – Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

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Does your toddler find it difficult to speak simple words? Does he find it difficult to touch the tip of his tongue to the upper teeth or move it to the side? If you nodded along, your dear little one is probably suffering from tongue-tie. Read our post here to learn about the causes, symptoms, and treatments for tongue-tie in toddlers.

What Is Tongue-Tie In Toddler?

Tongue-tie, also popular as ankyloglossia, is a congenital condition that limits the tongue’s range of motion. The lingual frenulum, an abnormally thick, short band of tissues, binds the bottom of the tongue’s tip to the floor of the mouth. As a result, your toddler finds it difficult to stick out his tongue, speak, eat, and swallow. So, it is essential to seek medical assistance as soon as you discover your tyke suffers from the condition.

Causes Of Tongue-Tie In Toddlers:

Normally, lingual frenulum disconnects before the birth allowing the tongue to move freely. However, among tongue-tie toddlers, the lingual frenulum sticks to the bottom of the tongue and restricts free movements of the tongue. So the presence of lingual frenulum connecting the tip of the tongue to the bottom of the mouth is the cause of tongue-tie in toddlers. (1)

[ Read: Strep Throat In Toddlers ]

Signs Of Tongue Tie In Toddlers:

How do you know your little one suffers from a tongue-tie? Here we list some symptoms of tongue tie in toddlers:

  • Difficulty in lifting tongue up.
  • Difficulty in moving the tongue from one side to other within the mouth.
  • Tongue appears heart-shaped or notched when the toddler tries to stick it out.
  • Difficulty in sticking out tongue along the lower teeth.
  • Difficulty in eating and swallowing food.
  • Poor weight or loss of weight.
  • Difficulty in reaching back teeth. (2)

Diagnosing Tongue-Tie In Toddlers:

Doctors diagnose the presence of lingual frenulum or tongue-tie in toddlers during a general physical examination. At times, doctors might use screening tools to note various important aspects of the tongue, its appearance, and its ability to make movements. Once your doctor confirms a tongue-tie, he will suggest the right medical treatment to treat it quickly and effectively.

[ Read: Symptoms Of Canker Sores In Toddlers ]

Treating Tongue-Tie In Toddlers:

In certain cases of tongue-tie in toddlers, lingual frenulum loosens over a period and resolves the tongue-tie. In other cases, the condition persists and cause great trouble and discomfort to toddlers. In such cases, surgery works. Here are two prominent surgical treatments that can help treat tongue-tie in toddlers effectively and safely.

1. Frenectomy:

Frenectomy is a surgical procedure that doctor or surgeon performs with or without anesthesia. The surgeon examines the lingual frenulum and with the help of sterile scissors snips the tissue free. Frenectomy is a quick treatment, and it causes minimal discomfort to the toddler, as there are just a few blood vessels and nerve tips in the frenulum. There are rarely any complications in frenectomy.

2. Frenuloplasty:

Frenuloplasty is an extensive surgical treatment that a surgeon performs if the lingual frenulum is quite thick and impossible to cure frenectomy in toddlers. The extensive surgery requires general anesthesia and surgical tools. After the frenuloplasty, the surgeon closes the wound with the help of absorbent sutures at the toddler’s tongue heals. Possible complications that may accompany with frenuloplasty are infections, bleeding, and damage to salivary glands and tongue. In case of extensive surgical procedure, the toddler may suffer from scarring and reactions to anesthesia. Post frenuloplasty, the doctors may recommend certain tongue exercises to improve the tongue movements, speech, and minimize the scarring effect. (3)

[ Read: Signs of Speech Delay In Toddlers ]

Early detection and following the right line of treatment helps treat toddler tongue tied in time with minimal complications and discomfort.

Did your toddler suffer from tongue-tie? What did you do to treat it effectively? Tell us your story here. Leave a comment.

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