Tongue tie or Ankyloglossia in Children

Tongue tie or Ankyloglossia in Children

Tongue tie or Ankyloglossia in children is a condition present at birth. Normally, the lingual frenulum separates before birth, giving the tongue free range of motion. With Ankyloglossia, the lingual frenulum remains attached to the bottom of the tongue. No one is sure why this happens and although it can affect anyone, it’s more common in boys than girls.

Dr. Abeyta's treats tongue tie in children

For some children, it is not an issue. For others, it can lead to breastfeeding, eating and speaking diorders.

Signs of tongue tie:

The most common sign of tongue-tie is the inability to stick out the tongue more than a few millimeters past the lower gums. Sometimes the child is not able to move the tongue side-to-side or the tongue appears heart shaped or notched when stuck out.

Tongue tie and breastfeeding:

When the tongue is restricted, the baby tends to “chew” instead of suck on the nipple. This can cause significant nipple discomfort to the mother and interfere with the baby’s ability to feed. Over time, poor breast-feeding can lead to inadequate nutrition, failure to thrive, a very unhappy baby and very stressed-out parents.

Tongue tie and long-term affects:

Tongue-tie can affect an infant’s oral development, delaying speech. It can also affect the way they eat and swallow, making it hard to introduce solids.

As babies grow into children the areas of difficulty spread to include social and home situations, self-esteem, school environment, and oral health. Meaning, a tongue tie does not fix itself. In fact, disorders like sleep apnea, bed wetting, dry mouth and heart disease have been linked to unrepaired tongue tie.

Tongue tie and speech impediments:

When the frenulum is short and tight it restricts the tongues movement. This doesn’t affect the ability to learn to speak, but it can impact the pronunciation of certain letters such as th, n, s, t and l.

Treatment for tongue tie:

The most common treatment for tongue tie is a surgery called a lingual frenuloplasty. Dr. Abeyta, in Albuquerque, uses this technique. It is based on precision; releasing the appropriate amount of tissue for maximal relief – not too much, and not too little.

Alongside surgery, Dr. Abeyta integrates myofunctional therapy, and sometimes craniosacral therapy, both before, during, and after surgery. Addressing the compensatory muscular and joint tension through manual therapy can significantly help optimize rehabilitation in cases of tongue tie.

For more information call (505) 293-7611 – the best albuquerque dentists!

How a Tongue-tie Affects Adults

How a Tongue-tie Affects Adults

How a tongue-tie affects adults and its contributing factor to other medical conditions.  The tongue has many duties.  Duties that include assisting with breathing, chewing, swallowing, facial development, speech and digestion. 

If a tongue-tie remains untreated it impacts the whole body creating stiffness and tightness.  The four muscles, located above the hyoid bone in the neck, are no exception.  When these muscles become stiff headaches, neck aches, shoulder pain and poor posture can develop.

The muscles in the jaw, when taut, can force the jaw backwards and downwards, creating TMJ issues.

A tight jaw muscle can also restrict air flow.  This can be a huge problem at night.  Without a clear airway normal breathing can’t happen, resulting in sleep apnea and loud snoring.   During the day, it lends itself towards mouth breathing.  

Another condition in adults from a tongue-tie is speech problems.  For example; mumbling and talking softly or finding yourself with a gravelly voice or sore throat by the end of the day. 

Did you know 1 in 4 adults are affected by indigestion? A healthy tongue will move food from side to side, ensuring it is properly broken down and easily digested.   When movement of the tongue is restricted the food doesn’t get swapped from side to side.  We end up swallowing unchewed food which is hard on the stomach.  

Take the Tongue-tie Quiz

  • Do you snore?
  • Do you stop breathing while sleeping?
  • Do you feel rested after a night’s sleep?
  • Do you have pain in your neck and shoulders?
  • Is your mouth opened during the day?
  • Can your tongue reach its palate when your mouth is wide open?
  • Do you grind your teeth?
  • Do you get sore throats?
  • Do you have frequent headaches?
  • Do you have acid reflux?
  • Do you have trouble swallowing?

If you’ve answered yes to these questions it’s a good bet you have a tongue-tie. 

Myofunctional therapy is a program used to correct the improper function of the tongue and facial muscles. Myofunctional therapy involves strengthening the tongue and orofacial muscles by teaching individuals how to reposition muscles to the appropriate posture.

Contact Dr. Abeyta’s office today at 505-293-7611 to schedule an appointment.