Tongue tie is a condition found in infants and children in which the lingual frenulum—the cord that runs from the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth—restricts the tongue's mobility. This can come about as a result of the frenulum being too short, tight, or thick, and its effects are varied, from issues with breastfeeding to speech, dental hygiene, and beyond. Alaska Dentistry for Kids is an Anchorage-based children's dentist providing top-notch personalized care to area residents, and that extends to the correction of tongue tie syndrome. They're here to dispel a few myths and promote a better understanding of this unique condition.
The Short & Long-Term Effects of Tongue Tie
For some, there is a great deal of confusion surrounding even the term "tongue tie" itself, so it's no surprise there are as many myths floating around as there are facts. Chief among them is the question of whether or not tongue tie impacts breastfeeding in infants. It is a common myth to say one doesn't affect the other, especially when there is so much evidence to support the difficulties that arise. The tongue plays a major role in the suckling reflex necessary for proper feeding, and tongue tie leads to a variety of related challenges.
Without adequate tongue length and mobility, babies are forced to either overcompensate in other ways or risk being deprived of adequate milk supply. As an Infant study explains, any overcompensation has the potential to negatively impact the mother through nipple damage, severe pain, and other issues.
It's also common to assume the frenulum will stretch over time. This isn't a very reliable way to deal with a medical issue, however, especially one that seriously affects children in crucial developmental stages. It's also worth noting that issues connected to tongue tie don't simply disappear as children get older. Troubles with chewing, gagging, speaking, and more can continue and develop further through childhood and into adulthood in severe cases. This is why so many dentists recommend tongue tie laser division, which is an effective means of frenulum revision.
Most importantly, those who suffer from tongue tie should know relief is possible. Alaska Dentistry for Kids handles a wide range of special needs dentistry, and they're just a phone call away. Visit their website for more information on their services, and call them at (907) 274-2525 to schedule an appointment today.