Convincing Reasons Why Your Child Needs Urgent Tongue Tie Treatment

It is estimated that between 4% and 11% of babies are born with a tongue-tie. Children with this condition have reduced mobility of the tongue. If you tell your child to lift their tongue, you will see a band of tissue connecting the floor of the mouth to the bottom of the tongue. In most people, this tissue is thin to allow the tongue to move freely. However, in other people, the tissue, commonly known as the lingual frenulum, is tight, thick, and short, significantly restricting tongue movement. If your child's tongue is like this, they need tongue-tie treatment.

How Serious Is Tongue Tie?

In some cases, children with tongue-tie don't have any symptoms. In such a case, the condition does not cause any problem, and children may live with it into adulthood. However, there are fears that untreated tongue-tie will present significant problems in the course of one's adult life.

In adult life, tongue mobility is meaningfully hampered, causing numerous difficulties with:

  • Drinking
  • Eating
  • Speaking
  • Kissing
  • Breathing

The problem can also diminish one's ability to brush their teeth, leading to poor oral and dental health. In some extreme cases, the problem may cause tongue thrust.

Why Early Treatment Matters

The consequences of untreated tongue-tie depend on the severity of the condition and the child's age. If an infant has this problem, they are unable to breastfeed effectively, causing many challenges, such as:

  • Potential poor bonding between the mother and the child.
  • Early termination of breastfeeding, significantly affecting the child's health.
  • Sleep deprivation.

Lack of immediate tongue-tie treatment may also affect the child's mother in the following ways:

  • Severe nipple damage
  • Mastitis
  • Depression caused by a sense of failure
  • Distortion of the nipples
  • Sleep deprivation since the child is always unsettled

To avoid such problems, corrective surgery should be performed early. Most doctors recommend tongue tie to be corrected soon after a child is born, even before being discharged from the hospital. However, some parents prefer to wait until their children reach a particular age. As your child grows older, tongue-tie may pose other challenges, such as:

  • Inability to eat common solid foods.
  • Choking or vomiting when eating.
  • Poor dental hygiene.
  • Delayed speech development.
  • Dribbling.
  • Loss of self-esteem.

As doctors note, the earlier tongue-tie is treated, the better. If left untreated, it may substantially affect your child's cosmetic appearance. In addition, as the child grows older, the tongue may appear too large for the mouth, causing more problems.

The Bottom Line

If your child's lingual frenulum is short, tight, and thick, you should seek immediate tongue treatment. Always remember that the consequences of untreated tongue tie get worse with age.