Tongue tie, medically known as ankyloglossia, is a condition in which the tongue is restricted in its movement due to a short or tight band of tissue (frenulum) that attaches the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. While some cases of tongue tie are mild and may not require intervention, severe cases can cause significant oral health problems.
One of the most significant ways in which tongue tie affects oral health is by interfering with the growth of the maxilla and mandible. The maxilla is the upper jaw, and the mandible is the lower jaw. Proper growth and development of these structures are essential for proper occlusion (bite) and facial aesthetics. In severe cases of tongue tie, the tongue’s restricted movement can prevent the proper growth and development of the maxilla and mandible, leading to bite problems and even sleep apnea.
Another way in which tongue tie affects oral health is through orthodontic relapse. After orthodontic treatment, the teeth are moved into their new positions, and the bone around them is remodeled to hold them in place. However, if there is a tongue tie, the restricted movement of the tongue can put pressure on the teeth, causing them to move back to their original positions. This is known as orthodontic relapse and can be frustrating for both patients and orthodontists.
Tongue tie is also related to tongue thrust, a condition in which the tongue pushes against the front teeth during swallowing. Tongue thrust can lead to an open bite, where the upper and lower front teeth do not touch when the back teeth are together. This can make it difficult to bite into food, speak clearly, and even cause speech impediments.
Speech impediments are another way in which tongue tie affects oral health. Because the tongue’s movement is restricted, it can be difficult to form certain sounds and words, leading to speech impediments such as lisping or difficulty pronouncing certain sounds.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have an orthodontic consultation by the age of 7 to evaluate any growth challenges created by tongue tie. Early detection and intervention can prevent future problems and improve oral health outcomes.
If you suspect that your child has a tongue tie, it is essential to seek the advice of an orthodontic specialist. Dr. Young at Young Orthodontics in Chandler offers complimentary consultations to evaluate your child’s oral health and discuss treatment options. To schedule an appointment, call 480-899-9423 or visit www.smilestraight.com.
In conclusion, tongue tie is a condition that can significantly affect oral health, including the growth of the maxilla and mandible, orthodontic relapse, tongue thrust, and speech impediments. Early detection and intervention are crucial to prevent future problems and improve oral health outcomes. If you suspect that your child has a tongue tie, please schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Young at Young Orthodontics in Chandler, Arizona.