February 13, 2022
When your baby comes into the world, you make sure they have all 10 fingers and toes. You may not see anything but perfection when looking at their gummy little smile, but tongue-tie in Palm Harbor is common. About 5% of all newborns are affected by the condition, which tends to be more prevalent in boys than girls. While it’s not unusual for a child to be born with a tight or short piece of skin under their tongue, it may not be detected until certain concerns arise. If your infant is having difficulty latching or sucking, here are 4 signs they may need a frenectomy to free their tongue.
1. Heart-Shaped Tongue
A heart-shaped tongue is adorable, but it can indicate a problem, especially if it’s difficult to lift or stick their tongue out. Although this isn’t a fool-proof test for diagnosis, if you see an obvious string of tissue near the tip of the tongue, there may be a restriction. A classic to-the-tip tongue-tie isn’t the most common form, so it may not be easy to identify.
2. Short Tongue
50% of tongue-tie cases do not include the tissue extending to the tip. Instead, you may not even see the frenum at all because it’s too far under the tongue. Although it may not be as visible, it can make it challenging to raise the tongue or extend it past the lower front teeth.
3. Breastfeeding Problems
Unfortunately, tongue-tie isn’t always obvious. Some parents don’t realize there is an issue until feeding complications occur. If the tongue has restricted movements, your baby won’t be able to hold it in the right position to suck on a nipple. Breastfeeding problems can affect the baby’s ability to get milk, which can lead to nutritional deficiencies and failure to thrive. It can also cause nipple pain for the mother if the issue isn’t resolved.
4. Speech Difficulties
A tight frenum can interfere with your child’s ability to make certain sounds, such as T, D, Z, S, TH, R, and L. Speech difficulties may not become obvious until your child is older, but they aren’t something you want to ignore.
Correcting a Tied Tongue
Thankfully, a tied tongue can be corrected using a minor procedure, called a frenectomy. A numbing agent is used to keep your child comfortable as a soft tissue laser frees the tongue to allow for normal movements. When compared to the traditional method using surgical scissors, a laser provides better precision with fewer risks of complications.
If your infant shows signs of a tied tongue, don’t wait. Schedule a consultation to see if a frenectomy in Palm Harbor is necessary.
About Dr. Maggie Davis
Dr. Davis is a pediatric dentist with a passion for helping children with tongue and lip ties. Besides completing advanced training in frenectomies, she also created the Florida Tongue Tie Institute. If you need a pediatric dentist you can trust, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.
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