Tongue-tie is a common condition that affects many babies, and it is often noticed when an infant has difficulty nursing. However, there are times when tongue-tie can go undetected, causing problems later on. At North Texas Smiles, our dentist can help identify even the smallest cases of tongue-tie in Fort Worth, Texas, and provide any necessary treatment. We want your family to be healthy and happy, which is why Dr. Justin Warcup has received the necessary training to treat your child. We welcome you to contact our practice at 817-732-9341 to schedule your appointment and learn more about how tongue- and lip-tie can affect older children.
Tongue- and lip-tie are common conditions that are often quickly identified and treated. However, when the frenulum is not noticeably far forward, or when the symptoms of tongue-tie are attributed to something else, the effects of tongue-tie can continue as a child gets older.
If tongue- or lip-tie is not treated early on, it can lead to several issues later one. Some of these issues include:
• Speech difficulties: limited tongue or lip movement can make it difficult or impossible to pronounce certain sounds or letters. This can result in improper speech and lower self-confidence.
• Crowded teeth: if a child’s tongue-tie is not addressed early on, it can lead to crowded teeth. Normal tongue mobility allows the tongue to rest against the top of the mouth and causing the palate to expand. When a child has a shorter frenulum, they cannot rest their tongue on the roof of their mouth, and their palate does not expand. This creates a smaller space for permanent teeth to come in, resulting in crowded teeth.
• Overbite: as a child’s mouth develops, the tongue helps push the lower jaw forward, creating a more even and aligned bite. With tongue-tie, however, the tongue has limited mobility, and this can result in an excessive overbite.
• Food texture issues: tongue-tie can make it difficult to eat certain foods, particularly solid foods. This can result in what appears to be picky eating but is actually a result of limited tongue movement.
• TMJ and neck pain: the tongue is a part of several muscle groups within the craniofacial area. If the tongue’s mobility is restricted, it can cause connected muscles to become stiff and unbalanced. Ultimately, this can lead to TMJ disorder or chronic pain in the head and neck area.
When tongue-tie is left untreated in the early stages of life, it can lead to several issues that require additional and more expensive procedures later on. Because the mouth and head continue to grow during infancy, it is important to have your child visit our dentist if he or she has tongue- or lip-tie. Doing so can give your child the care they need early on and avoid unnecessary pain or discomfort. For more information, and to schedule your child’s appointment, please call or visit us today.