November 20, 2023
Realizing that your child has a tongue-tie might not be something that causes you much concern…initially. However, as they get older, you may notice that they seem to struggle with various issues such as eating certain foods and the inability to speak clearly. To find out if treatment is necessary to improve their speech, keep reading to hear from a tongue-tie expert who can help.
What is the Difference Between Speech and Language?
You may not think there is a difference between speech and language, but there is, and it is important when it comes to understanding whether a tongue-tie is to blame.
Speech involves the action of saying certain words and phrases. The sounds that your child produces are considered speech because of how the tongue, teeth, lips, jaw, palate, etc. move to create different words.
Language, however, is the different words that are spoken and what they mean.
When it comes to the role a tongue-tie can play in a child’s development, it can affect speech, not language.
Tongue-Ties: Do They Always Result in a Speech Delay?
No, just because your child has a tongue-tie does not mean that they will definitely experience a speech delay; however, it is possible.
Because the tongue is an essential component of learning how to form words, it can be difficult for a child when trying to pronounce certain sounds. The restricted tissue may lead to a speech delay because of your child’s inability to move it in various directions. For example, “s,” “t,” and “d” can be difficult for someone with a tongue-tie.
Can a Tongue-Tie Be Treated?
Yes, tongue-ties can be treated with the help of what is known as a frenectomy. This common procedure is often performed in a single day and leads to great results.
Seeing a tongue-tie expert will ensure that your child is in the best possible hands as they use a soft tissue laser to quickly release the tethered tissue. Immediately, your child will begin to enjoy greater oral movement, allowing them to use their tongue more effectively.
But when opting to release your child’s tongue-tie, you should also consider working with a speech therapist who can assist in building your child’s confidence and ability to speak clearly. If difficulties occurred before treatment, it may require the help of a trusted expert who can identify ways to encourage improved speech as your child grows older.
About the Author
Dr. Maggie Davis earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery and completed her pediatric residency at the University of Florida. A board-certified pediatric dentist and Diplomate in the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, she is certified in treating infant and pediatric tongue-ties and lip-ties by the American Board of Laser Surgery. She is also a graduate of Dr. Richard Baxter’s Tongue Tie Academy and TOTs: Tethered Oral Tissues Program. If you believe your child may be dealing with a lip or tongue-tie, call our office at (727) 786-7551 or visit our website.
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