The tongue is an organ that plays an important part in our daily lives. Swallowing, eating, and speaking all require the work of the tongue muscles – these tasks are done by us effortlessly every single day. However when this particular organ is not in order, is there anything that we can do? Will the activities above that we take for granted be as simple as they are used to be?
Ankyloglossia or more well known as tongue tie, refers to a clinical situation found when the lingual frenulum (a small membrane extending from the floor of the mouth to the midline of the underside of the tongue) is tight and restricts the tongue movement.
When this occurs in newborn babies, they will experience difficulty in breast-feeding which eventually leads to poor weight gain and causes both mother and the baby to be frustrated. Speech problems particularly, the articulation of certain sounds may follow when the child is older and when the condition has not been treated.
According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, if your child is unable to lick an ice cream cone or lollipop easily, this may be a sign to consult a professional about a tongue tie issue.
It is important for parents to remain calm and not panic if their child is diagnosed with a tongue tie. They may consult an oral surgeon or doctor to correct it by a simple minor surgical procedure which can be performed under local anaesthesia. In some cases where the children are still very young (between 2 to 6 years old), the surgical procedure is recommended to be done under general anaesthesia.
Some parents might worry about the wounds or bleeding that their child may have after the surgery. However the existence of more advanced technology and equipments such as the electric knife or laser can minimize the discomfort. After surgery, the speech therapist may help improving the child’s speech if the child has already developed some speech patterns.
To find out more information about tongue tie procedures, please visit our website. If you have further questions on tongue tie, or would like to share your experience, do let us know. We would love to hear from you.