Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Dental and Oral Health (Children)

Tongue-tied

11/14/2007

Question:

when my child was born i noticed that his tongue was not right. a 1 month i told his doctor i think he is tongue tied and they told me to wait till he was a year old and they would go from there. At a year i told the doctor he was tongue tied and they pushed any type of treatment till he was two now he is two and he doesnt talk like he should. My question to you is are there any cases where a child was tongue tied and there was no treatment and the result from it.

Answer:

Thank you for the question.

Much of the literature existing on tongue-tied (ankyloglossia) puts the prevalence at between 5-10% of the population. In many cases, the primary reason for surgery is if there is evidence of failure to thrive, breastfeeding problems, or marked restriction. The surgical corrective procedures (frenotomy or frenectomy) are not without consequence - they can lead to infection and damage to the artery and nerve in the floor of the mouth.

Furthermore, the existing literature has taken the position that while initial speech articulation (especially with "t", "d", "l" and "th" sounds) may be delayed, it is inconclusive in the long term effect on speech.

I would recommend an evaluation by a dentist familiar in infant oral health, as well as consultation with a speech therapist to identify any other causes for speech delays.

I hope this helps.

For more information:

Go to the Dental and Oral Health (Children) health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Sarath  Thikkurissy, DDS, MS Sarath Thikkurissy, DDS, MS
Professor
Director, Residency Program, Division of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati