A posterior tongue tie, also commonly known as ankyloglossia, is an abnormally short web of skin (lingual frenulum). A lingual frenulum is the piece of tissue between the bottom of the tongue and the floor of the mouth.
People of all ages can have posterior tongue ties, as well as anterior tongue ties and lip ties. Although, this condition is usually noticed during infancy. Learn how to spot a tongue tie in your baby or small child and what to do to treat it.
Posterior Tongue Tie Symptoms
Symptoms of a tongue tie are a domino effect. In other words, every symptom caused another symptom, rippling into more effects on the body.
- Limited tongue movement inhibits a baby’s mouth to breastfeed, take a bottle, or use a pacifier.
- Due to this, babies can suffer weight loss from breastfeeding/bottle feeding difficulties and speech problems.
- This can cause a need for medical treatment of the problem.
- Without treatment, children can experience difficulties from a lack of oral muscle control.
- This causes a delay in learning how to properly speak age-appropriately.
- Minimized tongue movement can impede normal breathing patterns and could also possibly contribute to an increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Precautions of Posterior Tongue Tie Treatment
Is your child experiencing feeding difficulties? If not, you may want to wait on treatment until complications with eating or speaking start.
Yet, even when a tongue or lip tie does not cause immediate health problems, a simple surgical procedure can be beneficial. For example, your child’s future oral health, weight gain, and overall well-being may improve.
If muscle involvement is identified, a posterior tongue tie release will not fully resolve the condition. In this case, your baby may need additional surgery to free the labial frenulum. This will protect muscle strength and coordination. Otherwise, the ability to speak clearly may end up compromised even after reversal of the tongue tie.
For this reason, it is important to always have your baby’s mouth assessed. Thereby, you can decide if pursuing treatment is the right choice for your child’s health. Always see a healthcare professional such as a lactation consultant or pediatric dentist before deciding on a tongue tie release.
Posterior Tongue Tie Release
The surgical procedure for a posterior tongue tie is very simple. A dentist uses a tiny laser to cut a small incision through the lingual frenum. This restores the tongue’s natural full range of motion. Unless there are other complicating factors, the procedure is performed on an outpatient basis (no need for general anesthesia).
Tissue in the body such as the tongue web are relatively small. Therefore, this few-minute procedure is painless. With a relatively small amount of bleeding, recovery is just a few days. For instance, children are able to breast or bottle feed within 24 hours of the procedure.
Do you feel that your child’s feeding difficulties are due to a posterior tongue tie?
We will assess your child’s overall oral health condition to help you choose the best course of treatment.