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What Happens if I Don’t Fix My Child’s Tongue-Tie?

May 3, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — floridatongue @ 3:27 pm

Parenting is hard. You just want what’s best for your child, but misinformation can make that complicated. That seems to be especially true of health topics that are increasing in public awareness, such as tongue-ties. Maybe all the chatter has you confused, or maybe talk of laser treatment sounds intense. Whatever the reason, you’re starting to wonder if tongue-ties are even worth removing.  

Most pediatric dentists believe the answer is “yes!” Keep reading to find out why.

Does My Infant Have Tongue-Tie?

How do you even know if your baby has tongue-tie? The name alone is rather vague. A tongue-tie means that there’s extra tissue attached to the underside of your baby’s tongue. This tissue is sometimes called “webbing” or “the lingual frenulum”, so don’t be confused if you come across those terms. While some supporting tissue is to be expected, it becomes a problem when oral movement is restricted.

Restricted Oral Movement Makes Breastfeeding Difficult

When your infant has trouble moving their tongue because of a tie, they’ll have a hard time nursing. This can make Mom sore if she’s breastfeeding. However, even when formula is given through a bottle, your baby might still experience acid reflux, excessive gas, and hiccups. Since it’s harder for them to get their food, they could also become fussy and develop colic, or take longer to feed.

Webbing Can Impair Speech

Depending on the severity of your child’s tongue-tie, they might not be able to move their mouth the way they need to in order to make certain sounds. Some might say that speech therapy can remedy the issue, but this is costly and not always true. Speech therapists help children by re-training them to move their mouths, which could be close to impossible for a child with tongue-tie.

Sadly, many children with difficulties speaking experience low confidence, and are often held back in school. If not removed, lingual frenulum will likely continue to cause trouble for them.

Are Frenectomies Safe?

Tongue-ties are worth treating so Mom and baby can avoid uncomfortable complications. However, many parents hear “laser treatment” and – understandably – get nervous.

Not all tongue-tie treatments (or “frenectomies”) involve lasers. However, most pediatric dentists and professionals recommend a laser treatment because they’re gentler and more effective than traditional options. Your pediatric dentist can treat harder-to-spot frenulum with a laser, and most children don’t need anesthetics for the treatment. They’ll even experience faster healing and minimal discomfort!

Tongue-tie is one of those issues that causes discomfort now and can lead to more complex conditions later. It makes sense for parents to be wary of tongue-tie and frenectomies, but rest assured that your child will be in good hands with your pediatric dentist! They’ll identify and treat tongue-tie promptly and gently. Afterwards, Mom and baby can expect easier nursing and better sleep.

About the Author

Dr. Maggie Davis is a mom herself. Her first son had difficulties nursing, and her search for answers and solutions inspired her to become a lip and tongue-tie specialist. If you have more questions about tongue-tie, or are concerned about your child’s oral health, she’ll be happy to consult with you! Contact her office at 727-786-7551 or explore her website for more information.

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