I’ve been told that I am tongue tied. What is that?
See blog photos under tongue
What does it mean to be tongue tied? And is this a condition that requires treatment?
When your dentist or physician says that you are tongue tied it is a descriptive term that means that the ligament that holds the tongue to the floor or bottom of your mouth is attached very close to the lower anterior teeth. The more correct term for this is ankyloglossia.
Possible concerns of being tongue tied:
- Difficulty nursing as an infant
- Difficulties with speech especially the pronunciation of certain sounds that require the tongue to position in a way that is not possible due to the extra attachment
- Difficulty licking something off your lips
- It may be more difficult to lick an ice-cream cone
- Difficulty sticking your tongue out at your brother when needed!
Being tongue tied is usually not a problem. Sometimes babies that are tongue tied have difficulty nursing because their tongue does not have a lot of freedom of movement. If this is a concern, a small surgery is performed to remove this attachment so the tongue can move more freely. It is also possible to have speech difficulties depending on the location of the attachment. You may have trouble with “S” “F” and “Th” sounds.
One way to tell if you are tongue tied is to open your mouth wide and, without closing, try to touch the top of your mouth or your palate with the tip of your tongue. In our office, we often diagnose tongue tied in patients who never knew that their tongue moved any differently than anyone else’s. If there is a concern, we might offer to complete a conservative surgery with a diode laser that will free this attachment and offer improve tongue mobility. The surgery is completed with local anesthetic and the recovery is swift. There is little to no bleeding involved – which is one of the many things we love about the diode laser.
Dr. Julie Gillis and her dental team in Grand Junction, Colorado provide the highest quality dental treatment in a clean, caring and comfortable environment. We appreciate the opportunity to serve you.