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Ankyloglossia Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

What Is Ankyloglossia?

Ankyloglossia, also known as tongue-tie, is a congenital oral anomaly that may decrease mobility of the tongue tip and is caused by an unusually short, thick lingual frenulum, a membrane connecting the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth.
A person who has ankyloglossia might have difficulty sticking out his or her tongue. It can also affect the way a child eats, speaks and swallows, as well as interfere with breast-feeding.
To breastfeed successfully, the baby needs to latch on to both the breast tissue and nipple, and their tongue needs to cover the lower gum so the nipple is protected from damage.
Babies with ankyloglossia aren’t able to open their mouths wide enough to latch on to their mother’s breast properly. They tend to slide off the breast and chomp on the nipple with their gums.
This is very painful and the mother’s nipples can become sore, with ulcers and bleeding. Some babies feed poorly and get tired, but they soon become hungry and want to feed again.

Causes Of Ankyloglossia:

In normal cases, the lingual frenulum separates before birth, allowing the tongue free range of motion.
With ankyloglossia, the lingual frenulum remains attached to the bottom of the tongue.
The cause of this is yet unknown, although some cases of tongue-tie have been associated with certain genetic factors.
It is more common in boys than girls and is observed to run in families.

Symptoms Of Ankyloglossia:

Signs and symptoms of tongue-tie include:

  •     Difficulty lifting the tongue to the upper teeth or moving the tongue from side to side
  •     Trouble sticking out the tongue past the lower front teeth
  •     A tongue that appears notched or heart shaped when stuck out

Ankyloglossia can lead to:

  •     Breast-feeding problems.
  •     Speech difficulties.
    It can interfere with the ability to make certain sounds — such as “t,” “d,” “z,” “s,” “th” and “l.” It can be especially challenging to roll an “r.”
  •     Poor oral hygiene.
    For an older child or adult, ankyloglossia can make it difficult to sweep food debris from the teeth.
    This can contribute to tooth decay and inflammation of the gums (gingivitis).
    Can also lead to the formation of a gap or space between the two bottom front teeth.
  •     Challenges with other oral activities.
    Can interfere with activities such as licking an ice cream cone, licking the lips, kissing or playing a wind instrument.

Diagnosis Of Ankyloglossia:

Diagnosis of ankyloglossia may be difficult; it is not always apparent by looking at the underside of the tongue, but is often dependent on the range of movement permitted by the genioglossus muscles.

  •     For infants, passively elevating the tongue tip with a tongue depressor may reveal the problem.
  •      For older children, making the tongue move to its maximum range will demonstrate the tongue tip restriction.
  •     In addition, palpation of genioglossus on the underside of the tongue will aid in confirming the diagnosis

Treatment Of Ankyloglossia:

The following treatment options are available:

  •     Frenotomy
  •     Frenuloplasty

By : Natural Health News

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