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Tongue Tie Myths vs. Facts: Debunking Common Misconceptions

Tongue tie, also known as ankyloglossia, is a congenital oral abnormality where the lingual frenulum, a membrane that connects the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth, is too tight or too short. This can affect an individual’s ability to eat, speak, and even breathe. There are many myths and misconceptions about tongue tie that can make it difficult for people to know the truth about this condition. In this article, we will look at common myths about tongue tie and the facts that debunk them.

Myth 1: Tongue tie is just an SLP’s job

Busting the first tongue tie myth is something we must do. Many people believe tongue tie is only a concern for speech-language pathologists (SLPs). While it is true that a speech-language pathologist is at the center of diagnosis and the beginning of management, a pediatric dentist and/or an oral surgeon can be involved depending on the case.
A pediatric dentist can conduct a timely, accurate examination and underscore the profound effects of severe tongue ties on the orofacial development not just in infants and children, but the adults as well. An oral surgeon, meanwhile, is responsible for release of the frenulum, and can help alleviate the movement restriction caused by ankyloglossia when SLP and dental interventions are not enough.

Myth 2: The Scope of Tongue Tie is just confined to speech impairments

It is often thought that the problems that arise from tongue tie are limited to speech impairments. However, there are several other issues that can occur concurrently. This includes feeding and suckling difficulties, eating, pain, and breathing problems, including obstructive sleep apnea. This implies that if the symptoms fail to improve after the release of the frenulum it can become an oral myofunctional disorder. That means an SLP is responsible for assessment of the upper airway, respiration, swallowing, oro-motor, and communication pre-release and post- frenectomy.

Myth 3: All tongue tie cases are the same

One of the most common misconceptions about tongue tie is that all cases are identical. However, there are a number of variations in the types of tongue ties. The most common type is the so-called anterior (or classical) ankyloglossia, which is the most easily diagnosed and managed. This occurs when a lingual frenulum under the tongue extends to the tip of the tongue.
There is also the posterior tongue tie, which has been the subject of much debate within the medical community. In some cases, it is normal to have a few small fibrous strands that are located on the ventral tongue surface. If the membrane is large and tightly adherent, these children may experience more severe effects such as breastfeeding difficulties, infant reflux, and speech problems. A diagnosis of posterior tongue tie is usually accompanied by the advice of a proper professional medical or dental evaluation.

Myth 4: Everyone requires tongue tie correction

Another common misconception about tongue tie is that all cases require correction. In fact, a large number of cases of tongue tie do not lead to problematic symptoms and do not need to be corrected. On the other hand, the benefits of tongue tie correction for individuals who have problematic symptoms will mostly depend on timely management and a full understanding of the myofunctional interactions with associated muscles.

Myth 5: My child’s tongue-tie will self-correct with age

Most people feel that since baby’s oral structures are developing, their tongue-tie will become less pronounced and the problematic effects will diminish as well. Unfortunately, this misconception often leads to difficulties with breastfeeding and speech development during the child’s initial few years. But once you know it is not going to fall off on its own, it is important to seek appropriate professional help to help treat and prevent associated problematic symptoms. By 18 months, permanent changes in the orofacial and musclar welfares is difficult to alter and this calls for an efficient evaluation, diagnosis, and treatmment that is fit for each individual.

In conclusion, there are many myths and misconceptions about tongue tie, that may make it difficult for people to know the truth about this condition. It is important to recognize that sclerosis and syndromes, such as DeLange and Cornelia de Lange, influenced the severity of tongue-tie symptoms and the complexity of achieveing a correct diagnosis and treatment of ankyloglossia. With this in mind, proper diagnosis, and treatment methods should be employed because regular pediatricians and Otolaryngologists are not specialized in orofacial dysmorphography and tongue tie indications.
Most importantly, professionals should have a complete understanding of the interactions among muscles that can set off difficulty breast or bottle feeding, difficulty breathing, SPEECH problems, oral myofunctional disorder, force airway, and affect drooling and posture to manage subjects with tongue-tie.

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