10 Signs and Symptoms of a Tongue-Tie: What to Look for if You're Concerned

Posted in Upper Extremities Pediatrics on Jul 13, 2022

If you're a new parent, it's important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of a tongue-tie. This condition, which is caused by an abnormally short lingual frenulum (the membrane that attaches the tongue to the floor of the mouth), can cause a variety of problems for both mothers and infants. In this blog post, we will discuss 10 signs and symptoms of a tongue-tie. 

Tongue-Tie Definition

What is a tongue-tie? A tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) is a condition present at birth in which the tongue is attached to the floor of the mouth by a webbed or fibrous band of tissue. This tethering limits the mobility of the tongue, restricting its range of motion and function. Tongue-tie affects approximately four to eleven percent of babies and is more common in boys than girls.

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There are different types of tongue-tie, depending on the location and severity of the condition. A posterior tongue tie (the most common type) occurs when the band of tissue is located at the back of the tongue, near the throat. An anterior tongue tie is less common and occurs when the band of tissue is located near the tip of the tongue. A submucosal tongue tie (the most severe type) occurs when the band of tissue is located beneath the surface of the tongue.

Tongue-Tie Causes

What causes tongue-tie? While the exact cause of tongue-tie is unknown, it is believed to be a congenital condition (present at birth). Tongue-tie may be caused by an abnormality in the development of the fetus during pregnancy. It may also be hereditary, as it is more common in certain families.

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Tongue-Tie Signs and Symptoms

What are the signs and symptoms of tongue-tie? Tongue-tie can cause a variety of problems for both mothers and infants. In infants, tongue-tie can cause difficulty breastfeeding, as the infant may have trouble staying latched onto the nipple. The infant may also click when breastfeeding, and there may be poor milk transfer, which can lead to issues with weight gain and milk supply. Tongue-tie can also cause difficulty with speech development later in life. In mothers, tongue-tie can cause nipple pain and trauma (due to the infant’s poor latch), as well as low milk supply.

10 Signs and Symptoms of a Tongue-Tie

If you or your child is displaying any of the following signs or symptoms, it's possible that you may be dealing with a tongue-tie:

  1. Difficulty sticking out the tongue past the lower teeth
  2. Inability to move the tongue side to side
  3. A V-shaped notch at Tongue-tie definition: the center of the tongue's tip
  4. A tongue that appears heart-shaped when viewed from underneath
  5. Difficulty lifting the tongue to lick the lips or top teeth
  6. Difficulty sticking out the tongue more than a quarter inch from the tip
  7. Difficulty moving the tongue in a wave-like motion
  8. Restricted movement of the Frenulum (the string of tissue under the tongue)
  9. A tongue that appears to be glued down to the floor of the mouth
  10. Receding gums on the lower teeth from constant friction

Tongue-Tie Treatment

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What is the treatment for tongue-tie? The good news is that tongue-tie can be treated! If your child has a tongue tie, you should consult with a lactation consultant, speech therapist, or ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist. These professionals will be able to assess your child and determine the best course of treatment.

The most common treatment for tongue-tie is a procedure called frenectomy (also known as frenotomy or frenuloplasty). This is a simple, outpatient procedure that involves clipping the band of tissue that is tethering the tongue. The procedure is quick (usually taking less than 30 seconds) and is very successful in treating the condition.

After the procedure, your child will need to be monitored for any complications, such as bleeding or infection. Most children heal quickly and have no problems after the procedure. If you think your child may have tongue-tie, don’t hesitate to reach out to a qualified professional. While some babies with a tongue-tie do not experience any problems, others may have difficulty with breastfeeding, speaking, or eating. Tongue-tie can also lead to other problems such as gum disease and tooth decay.

Chiropractic Treatment for Tongue-Tie 

Chiropractic treatment is a holistic approach to health and wellness that focuses on the body's ability to heal itself. When it comes to tongue-tie, chiropractors focus on restoring proper alignment of the spine and surrounding muscles. This helps to ensure the proper functionality of the tongue and surrounding muscles, as well as promote faster healing. In addition, chiropractic treatment can help to reduce pain and discomfort associated with tongue-tie. If you are concerned about your child's tongue-tie, be sure to include a chiropractor on their care team.

Tongue-tie can often be treated with simple exercises and stretches that I can show you how to do. These can improve the function of the tongue and lips and help your baby to feed more effectively. If your baby is postsurgical, I can also help to assess the healing process and make sure that everything is progressing as it should be. 

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If you have any concerns or questions about these treatments please don't hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to help! We are focused on infant and women's health care. We have both personal and professional experience with children with tongue & lip ties. We work with dentists in the area to provide body care for children undergoing revisions. We are dedicated to helping moms & baby"s live their best life. Our goal is to provide support, hope, guidance, and answers to women & moms that are struggling. We hope this blog article was helpful.

Thank you for reading.

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