A tongue tie is present at birth, but it may not cause you problems until you’re older. Babies with a tongue tie can have trouble breastfeeding, and it may cause issues with speech as they age. Adults with limited tongue mobility may notice trouble with eating, speaking, breathing, and even kissing. A tongue tie can cause dental problems well into adulthood, as well.
At New Dimension Dentistry, the best of the best in the New York metro area, Dr. Doris Giraldo has been practicing for nearly three decades and is deeply passionate about caring for her patients of all ages. Because a tongue tie is apt to lead to oral health problems, Dr. Giraldo offers many preventive dental services to keep your mouth healthy.
What is a tongue tie?
Being “tongue tied” usually indicates someone clumsily tripping over their words. However, a tongue tie is actually a medical condition known as ankyloglossia. It’s a disorder in which the tongue is bound to the floor of the mouth by a little piece of tissue. This flap of tissue is called the lingual frenulum. A tongue tie is something you’re either born with or not.
Infants born with a tongue tie have frenulums that extend to the tip of the tongue, binding it tightly to the floor of the mouth. The tongue plays a crucial role in the coordination of sucking, swallowing, and breathing for your baby. It can cause breastfeeding troubles and eventually cause issues with speaking or chewing.
In adults, ankyloglossia may cause the lingual frenulum to be thick, short, or tight, and it might restrict tongue movement. A tongue tie can cause issues with speech, eating, breathing, drinking, and kissing. However, it also causes dental problems.
How a tongue tie leads to dental problems
The human body is impressive because it operates and functions together, seemingly without any thought on your part. Your tongue controls your body in ways you’re probably completely unaware of. A tongue tie not only impairs the ability to chew, speak, and breathe, but it also leads to dental issues.
A tongue tie blocks your airways. If the tongue is anchored too strongly to the floor of the mouth, function and movement are restricted. This restriction can cause sleep apnea, snoring, gagging, and mouth breathing. Mouth breathing causes tooth grinding (bruxism), tooth erosion, gum disease, and more.
If your tongue isn’t able to sufficiently sort and chew food, your digestion may suffer. Plus, properly chewing ensures a clean mouth. To maintain a healthy mouth, your tongue has to be able to reach each tooth to clean them thoroughly after every bite you take.
A tongue tie restricts the movement of your tongue, which also prevents your mouth from making enough saliva to keep your mouth clean. Saliva is incredibly important for your oral health because it contains enzymes that help with digestion and keep bacteria from making a home in your mouth. If you’re unable to keep your mouth clean naturally with saliva, you could end up with inflamed gums, gingivitis, and tooth decay.
Beat tooth decay
Whether you have a tongue tie or not, you can prevent dental problems with regular checkups. If you’re having trouble with restricted tongue movement, call New Dimension Dentistry today at 201-904-3060 to book an appointment with Dr. Giraldo. You can also use our online booking tool.