What is Tongue Tie?
Tongue tie, also known as ankyloglossia, occurs when a small web of skin directly underneath the tongue causes difficulty with protrusion of the tongue. This is sometimes noted at birth or later in life. It may cause difficulty with eating or speaking. Sometimes this causes difficulty with breast-feeding, and a medical referral may be made by a breast-feeding consultant. If the condition is noted in a child with speech issues, treatment may assist with the speech therapy. Treatment of a tongue tie may also help with oral hygiene.
At the office visit, the oral cavity will be examined for any abnormalities. The tip of the tongue may appear to be retracted when the tongue is fully protruded.
Treating Tongue Tie
In many cases this may be treated in the office, with a local anesthetic given as a medication applied to the tongue tie and possibly with an injection. Often, sutures are not necessary. Follow up in a week can be scheduled to check for healing. Over-the-counter medication for discomfort is sufficient, and may not even be needed. Surgical treatment may be considered even in a newborn. Sometimes the procedure is done in the surgery center, as this may be easier for an older child.
Learn more about tongue tie and the treatments, contact:
Todd A. Schneiderman, MD FACS
215 Union Avenue Suite C
Bridgewater, NJ 08807