A tongue tie is a condition that occurs when there is a band of tissue under the tongue connecting the bottom of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. Also known as ankyloglossia, patients have this condition at birth. Tongue tie can affect how a child eats and speaks. Babies with tongue tie can also have trouble breastfeeding. There are many indicators of tongue tie to look out for so your child can receive treatment in Mt. Airy, MD. Addressing tongue tie helps children grow with fewer oral health and physical health problems.
Tongue Tie Symptoms and Problems
There are multiple things you look for that can indicate tongue tie. The tip of your child’s tongue may look like a small heart because of the tissue tethering the tongue down. Babies who have tongue-tie may also cause pain when breastfeeding, have trouble latching, or swallow lots of air during breastfeeding. Tongue tie can also cause many movement problems for children.
Babies with tongue tie may not be able to:
- Lift the tongue
- Keep a pacifier in the mouth
- Move the tongue from side to side
- Move the tongue past the gumline
Over time, as children grow, they can experience speech impediments and difficulty swallowing. Adults with tongue tie can experience jaw pain, tongue thrust, and mouth breathing. Addressing tongue tie at an early age can help prevent increased problems as children grow older.
Treat Your Child’s Tongue Tie in Mt. Airy, MD
Our office takes many precautions before, during, and after treatment to ensure patient comfort. We make sure that patients receive Vitamin K before treatment and that parents have consulted with their child’s physician. After treatment, we will recommend facial exercises for your child and examine the treatment area less than a month after treatment.
We use CO2 dental lasers to perform frenectomies. A frenectomy is a procedure that cuts the band of tissue that creates a tongue tie. Dental lasers are minimally invasive and safe for young patients, using light energy to cut the tissue and release the tongue.
Lasers offer many benefits for patients of all ages. Dental lasers offer minimal bleeding, quicker healing times, and safe treatment for all patients. Because the laser has a low wattage, it is safe to use for young patients. Unlike traditional surgical instruments like dental drills, dental lasers are painless and quiet. Ultimately, releasing the tongue with a dental laser helps patients speak and eat comfortably.
Do you think that your baby may have a tongue tie? Call Mt. Airy Children’s Dental Association today at (301) 781-5337. You may also schedule a dental consultation with us online. Please let us know if you have any questions about diagnosing or treating tongue ties. We’re happy to help.