Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Frequently Asked Questions

Does it really exist?
Tongue tie, also called Ankyloglossia (or crooked or looped tongue) is a real medical condition and has its own typical problems and presentation. Symptoms can be mild or severe, and where no difficulties are caused no intervention is needed. Where problems exist, it can be diagnosed, assessed, and successfully treated. It is not well known - although the expression  'tongue tied' is generally used to mean 'unable to speak'.
Can anything be done?

Much can be done to counter the problems caused by a tongue tie which is causing significant difficulties. Since it is caused by a structural anomaly, the structural defect must be physically corrected before other treatments for presenting problems will have a chance to succeed. Early intervention is recommended to avoid the formation of incorrect habits of using the tongue in feeding and speech.

Does it hurt?
Release of the frenum by snipping causes little pain, some babies sleep through the procedure. Surgery in hospital with a general anaesthetic will cause soreness until healing takes place in a week to 10 days. Revision by laser causes very little pain in most cases.

How is it caused?
The frenum is a remnant of tissue that was part of the facial structure of the infant during early pregnancy. Usually it disappears or reduces to a very slight membrane which is elastic and does not limit the tongue in its movements or disrupt function. Similar webs of tissue can also occur joining the cheeks or lips to the gums and these - like a tongue tie - also can be released surgically. When the lingual frenum does cause problems it is because tightness, thickness or width of the frenum  affects the function of the tongue in various ways. There is a very strong tendency for tongue tie to run in families, and it is more common in boys.
Who should diagnose it?

Tongue tie may be diagnosed by family doctors, dentists, lactation consultants, ENT (ear, nose and throat) doctors, surgeons, or speech-language pathologists.

Is it too late for adults?

No. it is never too late. Adults with problems report the following improvements: ability to chew better, not biting their tongues or cheeks when chewing, a sense of space in the mouth, improvements with speech, not having to think before they speak, relief of tight, clicky jaws, tension headaches and migraine, improved oral and dental health, and ability to control a lower denture! However, the strong oromuscular habits acquired while the tongue tie was present will be harder to get rid of in older persons. Speech therapy after surgical revision is strongly recommended.

To read this entire article, which provides some Tongue Tie FAQ's, please visit TongueTie.net

Tel: 717-259-9596 
418 West King Street 
East Berlin, PA 17316 

Consequences of Untreated Tongue Tie

The consequences of an untreated tongue tie can be many and varied, depending largely on the age of the subject and the severity of the condition. The demands made on us increase as we grow older, and our environment becomes less forgiving of mistakes. Delay in treatment, therefore, can have very negative consequences.

For Infants

Inability to breastfeed successfully in the presence of a tongue tie can cause a variety of challenges for the infant, the mother and the family. For the baby, these may include:

  • Impact on milk supply
  • Termination of breastfeeding
  • The baby failing to thrive
  • Poor bonding between baby and mother
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Problems with introducing solids

The maternal experience of breastfeeding a tongue-tied baby may include:

  • Pain
  • Nipple damage, bleeding, blanching or distortion of the nipples
  • Mastitis, nipple thrush or blocked ducts
  • Severe pain with latch or losing latch
  • Sleep deprivation caused by the baby being unsettled
  • Depression or a sense of failure

For Children
Children with a tongue tie have to contend with difficulties which may only be discovered as they grow older. These can include:

  • Inability to chew age appropriate solid foods
  • Gagging, choking or vomiting foods
  • Persisting food fads
  • Difficulties related to dental hygiene
  • Persistence of dribbling
  • Delayed development of speech
  • Deterioration in speech
  • Behaviour problems
  • Dental problems starting to appear
  • Loss of self confidence because they feel and sound ‘different’
  • Strong, incorrect habits of compensation being acquired
To read this entire article, which outlines the consequences of an untreated Tongue Tie , please visit TongueTie.net  

Dental Clinic East Berlin -  East Berlin Smiles 
Tel: 717-259-9596 
418 West King Street
East Berlin, PA 17316

Friday, June 17, 2016

Finding Connor Deegan - A Case study done be the American Academy of Physiological Medicine and Dentistry

An interesting case study done by the American Academy of Physiological Medicine and Dentistry on how a sleep disorder can affect a child.

The above video is found on AAPMD's YouTube Channel.

418 West King Street
East Berlin, PA 17316

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Background: What is Tongue Tie?

The ‘lingual frenum’ (or lingual frenulum) is the cord that stretches from under the tongue to the floor of the mouth.

‘Tongue tie’, ‘Ankyloglossia’ or ‘short frenum’ are the terms used when the lingual frenum is short and restricts the mobility of the tongue.


Tongue tie can be defined as a structural abnormality of the lingual frenum. When the frenum is normal, it is elastic and does not interfere with the movements of the tongue in sucking, eating, clearing food off the teeth in preparation for swallowing and, of course, in speech. When it is short, thick, tight or broad it has an adverse effect on oromuscular function, feeding and speech. It can also cause problems when it extends from the margin of the tongue and across the floor of the mouth to finish at the base of the teeth.


The frenum is tissue left over from the time the foetus was developing in the mother’s womb and which would normally reduce to insignificance before birth. In the first 3 months of life, the face becomes differentiated into its various parts, and the frenum is what is left of the tissues that should have disappeared as the oral areas are formed. Such vestigial structures are not uncommon, and ‘webbing’, as it is sometimes called, can occur between upper or lower lips and gums, cheeks and gums as well as in tongue tie.

To read this entire article, which provides background information on what a Tongue Tie is, please visit TongueTie.net

418 West King Street
East Berlin, PA 17316

Friday, June 10, 2016

Friday, June 3, 2016

Breastfeeding Problems: A video from Fauquier ENT

This video from the Fauquier ENT YouTube channel explains 'why breastfeeding difficulties may occur due to infant factors, such as tongue tie and upper lip tie'.

The above video is found on Fauquier ENT YouTube Channel.

418 West King Street
East Berlin, PA 17316

Dentist East Berlin PA
Cosmetic, Childrens, Implant, NTI, DURAthin Dentistry