Nearly 5 percent of babies in the United States are born “tongue-tied.” In other words, they have Ankyloglossia, a condition in which the tissue that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth is too short, limiting the child’s tongue movement. This is a fairly common issue, but if left uncorrected, it can cause issues with a child’s breastfeeding and speech.
According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, some of the indicators include difficulty moving your tongue from side to side, being unable to touch the roof of your mouth, and a V-shaped notch at the tip of your tongue. As a general rule, if a toddler cannot easily lick an ice cream cone, parents should consider consulting a dentist and/or physician to talk about potential treatments. In such cases, a simple procedure called a frenulectomy can be performed to cut back part of the connecting tissue. Depending on the child’s age, it may only require local anesthesia, and complications are rare.
To learn more about being “tongue-tied” and its potential effects on your child, talk to a dentist on your True Care plan. The dentist can evaluate your child and let you know if it he or she would benefit from a consultation with an otolaryngologist, also known as an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor.