Parents want to ensure that their child has the best chance at growing into adulthood without any issues. When it comes to your child’s oral health, you’ll want to ensure that they’re receiving the right diagnosis and treatment for any problem that may come up. A problem that may be affecting your child is tongue tie. This can impact many areas of their life including feeding, speech, and other crucial aspects of development. But can a pediatric dentist diagnose a tongue tie in your child? In this Burlington dental practice blog, the Pediatric Dental Center will explore what tongue tie is, how it can impact your child’s health, and whether or not a pediatric dentist can diagnose it.
What is a Tongue Tie?
A tongue tie is a condition where the band of tissue that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth is too tight or short, causing restrictions in tongue movement. In infants, tongue tie can impact feeding, making it difficult for them to latch onto the breast or bottle. This can lead to poor weight gain and nutritional problems. As the child grows, tongue ties can also affect speech, leading to issues with pronunciation and clarity. Tongue ties can also impact dental health, with a higher risk of cavities, gum disease, and other issues.
Can a Pediatric Dentist Diagnose Tongue Tie?
Yes, a pediatric dentist can diagnose tongue tie in children. While tongue tie is often identified by breastfeeding experts and speech pathologists, pediatric dentists are also trained to diagnose and treat oral and dental issues in children. During a routine dental exam, a pediatric dentist can check for tongue tie by observing tongue movement and mobility. They may also ask about feeding and speech issues and perform a physical exam to check for signs of tongue tie.
What Happens If Your Child Has Tongue Tie?
If your pediatric dentist suspects that your child has tongue tie, they will refer you to a specialist for further evaluation and treatment. A specialist may include an ear-nose-throat (ENT) doctor, lactation consultant, or speech pathologist. Depending on the severity of the tongue tie, the specialist may recommend a simple procedure called a frenectomy, which involves releasing the tissue restricting tongue movement. This can be done using a laser or a scalpel and typically takes less than ten minutes.
After the frenectomy, your child may experience some discomfort and tenderness in the mouth for a few days, but the recovery time is usually quick. Your child’s pediatric dentist will work closely with the specialist to monitor your child’s progress and ensure that they are on the right track to healthy oral and dental development.
Discuss your child’s dental health with our team of experts by contacting us or scheduling an appointment at one of our offices!