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Are Tongue Ties Common in Children?

AdobeStock 303380909 1633613181 66204 768x506 1Worried that your child’s tongue tie might cause worsening oral and overall health problems if you leave it untreated? While you might feel as if you’re the only parent dealing with this particular issue, the truth is that you’re not, and it is much more common than you might think. Tongue ties in children in Katy are not a rarity, which is why a pediatric dentist is here to explain why they form and what you can do to ensure your child has maximum oral functioning throughout their life.

How Likely Is It For a Child to Have a Tongue Tie?

According to researchers, it is believed that between 4 and 11% of newborns in the United States have a tongue tie. When these restricted bands of tissue form during birth, they often cause problems with breastfeeding during infancy but can later become the culprit behind speech impediments and a child, teen, or adult’s inability to swallow effectively.

How Tongue Ties Form

While you might think a tongue tie will form after a child is born, this is not the case. In fact, while the child is still in the womb, the band of tissue underneath the tongue (the lingual frenulum) should detach. However, for some babies, this does not happen and instead, the tissue remains attached to the tongue, causing it to have limited mobility. Genetics is commonly viewed as one of the most prominent reasons for this development.

What Can Happen if a Tongue Tie Isn’t Treated?

If you’re a new parent and notice that your baby is having difficulty latching while feeding, their fussiness will likely have you scrambling for answers. You might even begin to assume there is something wrong with you. However, the truth is that a tongue tie can make it much more difficult for a baby to effectively latch while nursing and even have problems taking a bottle. They may suffer from colic or acid reflux. As children, teenagers, and adults, if a tongue tie is not treated early on, it can hinder their ability to speak clearly and swallow food. It can also play a part in how a person breathes, which can lead to sleep apnea.

Seeking treatment for a tongue tie early on will do more to benefit your child than you might think.

How Are Tongue Ties Treated

If you suspect that your child has a tongue tie, getting them in to see a pediatric dentist in Katy is essential. During the evaluation, the expert will examine their mouth and determine if there is, in fact, restricted tissue underneath the tongue. If so, a frenectomy can be performed that will release the tie and provide your child will immediate mobility. Using a soft tissue laser, the process takes only minutes and involves minimal bleeding and swelling. It even reduces the chances of infection and is often fully healed within 1-2 weeks.

If you see that your child has a tongue tie, don’t be alarmed. Getting them to a pediatric dentist who is trained and skilled at performing frenectomies will ensure your little one is put on the right path to embrace optimal oral function for life.

About the Author
As a board-certified pediatric dentist in Katy, Dr. Adeel Khan is familiar with the common problems that can develop in a baby’s smile. If your child is experiencing signs that are closely associated with a lip or tongue tie, they may need to undergo a frenectomy to help improve oral function. This simple and safe procedure is performed using a soft tissue laser, allowing your little one to feel less pain and discomfort and start enjoying a greater range of motion in less time. If you would like to know if your child could benefit from a laser frenectomy, visit our website or call (832) 789-8348.