Tongue-tie can affect a baby's oral development, as well as the way he or she eats, speaks and swallows.
For example, tongue-tie can lead to:
April 30, 2015
- Breast-feeding problems. Breast-feeding requires a baby to keep his or her tongue over the lower gum while sucking. If unable to move the tongue or keep it in the right position, the baby might chew instead of suck on the nipple. This can cause significant nipple pain and interfere with a baby's ability to get breast milk. Ultimately, poor breast-feeding can lead to inadequate nutrition and failure to thrive.
- Speech difficulties. Tongue-tie can interfere with the ability to make certain sounds — such as "t," "d," "z," "s," "th" and "l." It can be especially challenging to roll an "r."
- Poor oral hygiene. For an older child or adult, tongue-tie can make it difficult to sweep food debris from the teeth. This can contribute to tooth decay and inflammation of the gums (gingivitis). Tongue-tie can also lead to the formation of a gap or space between the two bottom front teeth.
- Challenges with other oral activities. Tongue-tie can interfere with activities such as licking an ice cream cone, licking the lips, kissing or playing a wind instrument.
- Tongue-tie (ankyloglossia). American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. http://www.entnet.org/content/tongue-tie-ankyloglossia. Accessed March 31, 2015.
- Tongue-tie. NHS Choices. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/tongue-tie/Pages/Introduction.aspx. Accessed March 31, 2015.
- Brookes A, et al. Tongue tie: The evidence for frenotomy. Early Human Development. 2014;90:765.
- Isaacson GC. Ankyloglossia (tongue-tie) in infants and children. http:/www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 31, 2015.
- Power RF, et al. Tongue-tie and frenotomy in infants with breastfeeding difficulties: Achieving a balance. Archives of Disease in Childhood. 2014;0:1.
- Webb AN, et al. The effect of tongue-tie division on breastfeeding and speech articulation: A systematic review. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology. 2013;77:635.
- Cofer SA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 4, 2015.
- Beatty CW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 20, 2015.