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Tongue Tie Infants & Children Causes & Symptoms


What is tongue tie?

Many people associate “tongue tie” with a situation where you are unable to express yourself in words because you are too nervous or excited. In reality, tongue tie refers to a medical condition that limits the use of the tongue. The condition is called ankyloglossia, and affects infants and older children.

What are the causes of tongue tie?

When a baby is born, there is a small cord of tissue in the center of the mouth (under the tongue) that helps the development of structures in the mouth. As we age, the tissue thins and becomes the visible piece of tissue under your tongue. In some, the tissue is especially tight and can lead to tongue tie.

What are the symptoms of tongue tie?

Tongue tied infant symptoms may include an inability to drink milk properly, and in turn, difficulty gaining weight. Older children may exhibit some or all of these signs of tongue tie:

  • Inability to touch the roof of the mouth with tongue
  • Inability to stick the tongue out past gums
  • Trouble moving the tongue side to side
  • A V-shaped mark on the end of the tongue
  • Difficulty making sounds (enunciation of r, l, d, n, sh, th, and z may be especially noticeable)

When should I bring my child to the doctor for tongue tie?

If your child has trouble with any of the above mentioned tongue movements or have reason to suspect your child may be suffering from tongue tie, an ear, nose, and throat specialist and New York ENT may be able to help. Our doctors can accurately diagnose and treat tongue tie.

How is tongue tie treated?

Tongue tie treatment may involve a surgery called frenulectomy. Tongue tie surgery is a relatively simple procedure. Usually, it does not lead to complications and generally results in increased ease of speech and self-esteem in children. Treatments and surgical procedure will vary according to the individual child and severity of the condition. Our board certified physicians at New York ENT can walk you through the entire treatment process and what treatment will look like for your child.

If you believe your child may be suffering from tongue tie, the first step is to schedule an evaluation with an experienced ear, nose and throat doctor. Board certified physicians with New York ENT have extensive experience diagnosing and treating a wide variety ear, nose, and throat conditions. Fill out the form on this page or call our office at (212) 873-6168 to schedule an appointment today.

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