What Is Tongue-tie and How Can It Affect Your Child's Life?

Tongue-tie is a common condition that can cause various problems for infants and children. These may range from breastfeeding difficulties to speech and dental issues. Examining tongue-tie's causes, treatment, and effects on your little one's life can help you identify and address this issue for your child's well-being.


What Is Tongue-tie?

This condition affects the tongue's movement and range of motion due to a short, thick, or tight frenulum. The tissue called the frenulum joins the tongue's mouth's floor. The frenulum's length or tightness may restrict the tongue's range of motion. Some activities, such as breastfeeding or speaking, may become challenging.



Depending on how severe the tongue-tie is, its symptoms can vary. Some common symptoms include:

  • Difficulty breastfeeding or bottle-feeding

  • Poor weight gain in infants

  • Difficulty moving the tongue

  • Speech difficulties

  • Dental issues like tooth decay and misalignment

  • Inability to lick the lips or move the tongue outside the mouth



A physical examination by a medical practitioner is usually necessary to diagnose tongue-tie or ankyloglossia. A dentist, pediatrician, or otolaryngologist could be the one to examine the tongue's appearance and motion.

The medical practitioner may ask the patient to extend their tongue and move it around during the examination. The objective is to identify any limitations on its freedom of movement. They may also ask about symptoms, such as difficulty breastfeeding, speaking, or swallowing.

A feeding evaluation or a speech-language examination may be necessary for some circumstances. These tests assess the severity of the condition and how it affects the youngster's daily activities.



The severity of the condition and the symptoms it causes will determine the treatment. If the youngster has no problems, treatment might not be necessary. If treatment is necessary, the most common approach is a frenectomy. 

This simple procedure involves cutting or releasing the frenulum for better tongue movement. The treatment takes place at Hapy Bear Surgery Center under local anesthesia. The youngster can feel uncomfortable or sore in the mouth after the treatment. This is normal and usually goes away in a few days. Recovery time is typically quick; most children can resume regular activities soon after the procedure.


How Can It Affect Your Child's Life?

Tongue-tie can significantly affect a child's life if not detected and treated early. Infants with this condition may have difficulty breastfeeding. This can cause poor weight gain and malnourishment.

As children grow, untreated tongue-tie can lead to speech difficulties, dental problems, and social and emotional issues. The inability to complete chores or participate in particular activities may cause children with this problem to feel self-conscious. Their confidence and sense of self may suffer as a result.

Early identification and treatment can help prevent these issues and improve a child's quality of life. Parents should be aware of tongue-tie symptoms.



Infants and children with tongue-tie may have various issues. Parents should know the signs and talk to their child's doctor about any worries. Early identification and treatment can help prevent long-term problems and improve a child's quality of life.

For more on tongue-tie in children, visit Hapy Bear Surgery Center at our Tulare, California office. Call (559) 732-4279 to schedule an appointment today.

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