Our ability to communicate with each other is what sets us apart from all other life on earth—and communication begins from a very young age! However, some children face unique challenges when learning to talk, and in some cases, these hardships are caused by things entirely out of their control, such as lip and tongue ties. Continue reading below to learn more about what lip and tongue ties are, how they can impact speech development, and how they can ultimately be resolved with the help of a skilled pediatric dentist!
What Are Lip and Tongue Ties?
Tongue and lip tie refers to conditions where the soft oral tissue that connects the lips to the gums and the tongue to the floor of the mouth, known as the frenulum, is unusually short, tight, thick, or otherwise compromised. Essentially, this causes a notable restriction of tongue movement, which in turn can present a list of potential problems as a child grows. That said, these conditions are fairly common and diagnosed often in modern society, occurring in around 5% – 10% of all children, and fortunately, they can often be easily resolved!
How Do These Issues Delay Speech Development?
One of the most impactful issues caused by tongue and lip ties is impaired speech development. Since the compromised frenulum restricts tongue movement in many cases, a child might not be able to orient their tongue and lips correctly to make certain sounds, control oral airflow, or open and close their mouths. This can result in all sorts of mispronunciations and verbal mishaps, which can make life challenging for a child. Their social development is at stake, as is their happiness—simply put, it’s frustrating for a child to not be able to speak clearly, especially if it’s due to something out of their control like tongue or lip tie!
How Are These Issues Resolved?
If your child is showing signs of impaired or delayed speech development, such as mispronouncing certain words or having a limited range of sounds in their vocabulary, keep in mind that early intervention is going to be the best course of action. While speech therapy is valuable, it might not ultimately address the issue at the root of the problem.
You should consult with your child’s pediatric dentist first; a simple procedure, known as a frenectomy, can often be performed to restore proper lip and tongue function. Better yet, this safe and quick procedure won’t just assist with speech, but also with other aspects of oral health and function.
About the Practice
Under the leadership of Dr. Justin Welke and Dr. Bindi Vibhakar, the talented team at the Chicago Tongue-Tie Center has proudly served families in Chicago for several years, offering a wide variety of services including treatment for both tongue and lip ties in children. If you have any questions about the blog or you’d like to get in touch with the team to set up a visit for your child, feel free to visit their website or call them today for additional information or assistance. Telephone: (312) 248-2455.