Tongue Tied

“I always thought ‘tongue tied’ just meant being shy.  Is it a real medical condition?”

“Can tongue tie have negative effects on my oral health?”

“I’ve been tongue-tied since birth.  Is it too late to do anything now?”

Tongue tied is not a figure of speech; it is a medical condition.  If you have difficulties lifting your tongue to the upper part of your mouth, side to side, or trouble sticking your tongue out past your front teeth, you may suffer from tongue-tie.  Other symptoms can include pain in the jaw, migraine headaches, an inability to speak clearly when talking quickly…and more.

Tongue tie occurs when a baby is born with a thick band of tissue that starts at the base of the tongue connecting the tip of the tongue to the floor of the mouth.  The extent of the problem varies, and it can have different impacts in different stages of life.  Infants may have trouble breastfeeding or sleeping; children may have trouble chewing solid foods or experience delayed speech development and social difficulty, and adults can also suffer in a variety of ways, including higher incidence of dental problems like inflamed gums, tooth decay and extractions.

Because the condition varies in degree, some people have little or no trouble with it in their daily lives; yet in others it can be painful or even debilitating. If you have trouble eating, talking, or reaching your back teeth to brush or floss, you may want to discuss possible solutions with Dr. Cordini.

Solution

Tongue tie is sometimes corrected early in infants; sometimes it is not.  The good news is that it is correctable later in life as well.  Many times a small procedure right in our office can solve the problem. The procedure is quick and has minimal discomfort as few nerve endings and blood vessels are present within the tissue. If the tissue is too thick, then a more extensive procedure may be needed which would require general anesthesia.  After an examination, Dr. Cordini will recommend the procedure which suits your needs.

 

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