San Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA
Receiving a diagnosis that your baby or child has a tongue-tie can raise multiple questions about treatments and risks. It may also bring up general questions about the condition, like how it can affect normal oral functions if not treated. Unfortunately, researching the internet for information about tongue ties could leave you overwhelmed with information. Therefore, our Oakland dentists that treat tongue ties share on the blog today more details about tongue ties and if they naturally go away.
First, let’s talk about how to tell if your kid has a tongue tie.
The best way to identify a tongue tie
Identifying and diagnosing a tongue tie requires the expertise and knowledge of a San Francisco dentist that treats tongue ties. Therefore, if you suspect that your child has a tongue tie, please contact our office to schedule a consultation for a full review and diagnosis. Below are a few signs you may notice of the disorder.
- A short or heart-shaped tongue that’s pulled down from the center
- A misshapen tongue is noticed when slightly lifted or moved forward
- An ability to feel or see the firm tissue connecting the tongue to the floor of the mouth
- An inability for newborns or infants to suckle or latch
- A toddler’s inability to eat well or articulate properly
The best age to get a tongue-tie release
Treating tongue ties as early in life as possible can prevent a lifetime of hindrances and challenges. In many cases, a lactation consultant or pediatrician can identify a tongue-tie, depending on their experience and training. Therefore, our Marin family dentists who release tongue-ties recommend addressing your child’s tongue-tie condition immediately to prevent adverse effects during adolescence and adulthood. However, if an adult patient has a tongue tie, the same procedure can provide relief when combined with myofunctional therapy.
The best tongue-tie treatment
The treatment that provides the best benefits for tongue ties is a functional frenectomy. Our San Francisco family dentists that treat tongue ties can perform a procedure that releases the restriction and restores the tongue’s full range of motion. In most cases, the process takes a few seconds since we use a precise dental laser. The procedure is quick and generally painless and can be performed on patients of all ages, even infants. In conjunction with the tongue-tie release, you may also need to complete a myofunctional therapy course that can help restore oral function, help you learn new habits, or work through previous disorders.
The problems of ignoring a tongue-tie
Babies with a tongue-tie may struggle with feeding as they fail to latch onto the breast or bottle properly. The condition may also lead to complications for the mother, such as tender breasts, low milk production, or the inability to empty her breasts when feeding. In addition, the tongue-tie could interfere with speech patterns, growth, development, and feeding challenges as the child grows. Furthermore, the complications only magnify the longer the tongue tie remains untreated. Below are a few additional consequences of untreated tongue ties.
- Strong gag reflex
- Mouth breathing
- Gapped front teeth
- Limited tongue movement
- Poor oral posture or constant open mouth
- Challenges with chewing and swallowing food
- Sleep breathing disorder development, like sleep apnea
- Increased risk for temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ or TMD)
- Speech complications, delayed speech development, or adult speech impediments
Tongue-tie Dentists in Marin, Oakland, and San Francisco, California
So, do tongue ties go away? The answer is no. The only way to get rid of or release a tongue-tie is with surgical treatment. Discovering your child has a tongue tie could be discouraging. However, successful treatment is available that is simple, effective, and quick. Contact Glen Park Dental to schedule a consultation and determine the next treatment steps. Please call our Bay Area family dentists at (415) 585-1500 to schedule an appointment so that we can help preserve your child’s oral health.