Tongue Tied in Salt Lake City, UT? Ankyloglossia Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & More

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When someone mentions being tongue-tied, most think that someone was just too excited or nervous to express their words. However, being tongue-tied is a physical condition that is fairly common and is known as Ankyloglossia. Caused by a shortened lingual frenulum tongue tie is a congenital anomaly. The tight, thick band of tissue under the tongue is the lingual frenulum and it controls movement and range of motion. Speech and feeding are usually impacted because when the tissue is compromised it can cause a decrease in the intended functions. We at the ENT Specialists would like to shine some light Ankyloglossia or being tongue tied.

Ankyloglossia Causes

It is unknown the specific causes to tongue-tie. However, some believe it is connected with heredity as other oral abnormalities such as a cleft palate may be present in an infant in conjunction with tongue-tie. If treated early on it does not cause long-term complications and in most cases, it is very treatable.

Tongue-Tie Symptoms

Symptoms are not always experienced right away with many babies that are born tongue tied. The child will adapt to the restrictions associated with this condition in some cases, but since the tissue of the lingual frenulum stretches as the child grows, symptoms and problems can worsen. Symptoms of this condition vary but commonly include:
1) Tongue has problems touching the upper teeth.
2) The tongue struggles moving from side to side.
3) A heart shape or notch appears on the tongue.
4) When breast feeding, there is trouble latching to the mother.
5) Gaps between front lower teeth or improperly formed teeth.
6) Because the tongue cannot create distinct sounds of certain letters, speech complications often occur.
7) Due to restricted speech and tongue movement, restricted social problems can happen.
8) Sticking out the tongue far is difficult.

How to Tell if a Baby, Child or Adult is Tongue Tied

Symptoms can range from nonexistent or mild to severe and if the condition is not corrected, it can create physical barriers. A physical exam by a health professional or ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) physician is almost always required because this condition is not always blatantly obvious with a quick peek at the tongue. The shape and movement of the tongue is evaluated and if the condition is confirmed, depending on the severity, the physician will discuss the optimal solution for treatment with the patient.

Ankyloglossia Treatment

Treatments options for Ankyloglossia depend on the age of the patient and the severity of the condition. Some of the common treatment options are listed below.
1) Oral Exercise Therapy: Some recommended oral exercise therapy. Depending on the circumstances, it may be all that is required to help with stretching.
2) Frenuloplasty: A doctor may propose a procedure where the lingual frenulum is clipped and the wound is closed with stitches in the event that there is a problem with speech later on. Babies under a year-old experiencing feeding problems may be a candidate for the surgeon to clip the lingual frenulum. Your health care specialist may wait to see if the frenulum stretches on its own and corrects itself if your child is older and there are no problems eating.
If you believe you or your child has a problem with tongue-tie, make an appointment with the ENT Specialists.

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