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Tongue Tie – Bullard, TX

What Is Tongue Tie? What Causes It?

baby sticking out tongue

A common phrase defines anyone who is having trouble putting words together as being “tongue tied.” But did you know that tongue tie is an actual medical condition that is related to a structural defect in the mouth? This page explores what tongue tie is, what causes it, and how treatment from a qualified dentist in Bullard can help.

Tongue Tie Definition

child’s lingual frenulum

The lingual frenulum is a piece of tissue that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth. In most people, the frenulum allows the tongue to have a free range of motion. In individuals with tongue tie, however, that piece of tissue is too short or thick to allow the tongue to move as it should.

Babies who are born with tongue tie can face a host of difficulties, including problems with breastfeeding. As a child grows, untreated tongue tie may lead to speech difficulties and oral myofunctional disorders, such as tongue thrust. Adults with tongue tie may habitually breathe through their mouth, suffer from dental problems, and find it challenging to eat certain textures.

What Causes Tongue Tie?

pregnancy checkup

In most fetuses, the lingual frenulum separates before birth so the baby’s tongue can move freely. In some cases, this separation does not occur, thus leading to tongue tie. There are no specific risk factors for tongue tie, although some research indicates that genetic factors are involved because tongue tie tends to run in families. It has also been noted that tongue tie occurs more frequently in boys than in girls.

There have even been studies that relate tongue tie to a folic acid deficiency in mothers. Regardless of whether a lack of folic acid is a specific cause of tongue tie, it remains an important nutrient for pregnant women who want to give their baby the best possible start in life.

Treating Tongue Tie

happy breastfeeding baby

The most common treatment for tongue tie is a lingual frenectomy. Dr. Tad Morgan uses a soft tissue laser for the procedure, which minimizes bleeding and pain. The procedure is quite simple, and babies are able — and encouraged — to breastfeed right after the surgery. Older individuals who undergo a frenectomy may need to have oral myofunctional therapy afterward to help them learn how to use their tongue properly.

If you suspect that your child is suffering from tongue tie in Bullard, contact our team today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Morgan.