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  • Writer's pictureDr. Maryam Motlagh, D.M.D

Why is Tongue Tie Correction for Children Necessary?

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

A tongue tie is defined as a malformation of the tongue muscle which restricts airflow into the body. This can cause numerous side effects including speech impediments, snoring and difficulty breathing. It is important to see the early signs of tongue tie in children so you can correct the issue as quickly as possible.

Here are 5 highlighted effects of tongue ties in children.

1. The Effect of Tongue-Tie on Facial Development

The correct position of the tongue in the mouth plays a major role in development of the mid face, which affects the definition of your jawline, how fast you develop wrinkles and overall how attractive you look. In mouth breathers, the tongue sits on the floor of the mouth instead of resting in the roof which allows air to enter the body. For people suffering from tongue tie, the force from the cheeks and facial muscles is not balanced by the tongue and therefore the upper jaw narrows-causing tooth crowding and an underdeveloped mid face.

2. Effect of tongue-tie on Breast Feeding

The tongue is the muscle that helps babies latch on to their mother's nipple when they breast feed. Many babies lose the advantage of getting nutrients from their mother's milk due to a tight tongue tie which is often missed in diagnosis. If your baby is not latching on properly, often times it has nothing to do with a lack of milk supply or anything else your are doing. Tongue ties in babies restrict them from latching on properly, which is a big reason your child may not be taking to breast feeding as easily as others. If your baby is having issues with breast feeding, take them in to a specialist to see if your child may be suffering from tongue tie.

3. Effect of the Tongue on Swallowing, Speech and Breathing

The position of the tongue in the mouth plays a major role in swallowing, speech and breathing correctly. When the tongue rests on the floor of the mouth it puts pressure on the lower teeth and interferes with their development. Kids with tongue-tie usually have speech abnormalities because they can't freely move the tongue in the right place for phonetics.

4. Effect on Oral Hygiene

The tongue effectively removes the bulk of the food from the sides of your teeth after each meal. People with tongue-tie usually show cavities on the buccal surface of upper back teeth because their tongue can't reach that far for sweeping the food from the area.

5. Effect on Stress Levels

The latest research has shown that incorrect position of your tongue is linked to high Cortisol levels in the body. When the tongue is positioned in the palate, it stimulates certain branches of the Trigeminal nerve which reduces Cortisol levels in the body. That is why babies find thumb -sucking calming. A tongue-tie can also contribute to tension in the upper neck and shoulder.

If you think your children are showing signs of tongue tie, call a specialist in your area to get a professional diagnosis.

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