A tongue tie is a common condition, usually detected soon after birth. It occurs when the tissue that connects the tongue to the bottom of the mouth is unusually thick or short. A tongue that is tied may look like a heart shape when it is sticking out!
In babies, tongue tie can affect breastfeeding. If your child has a hard time latching, feeds slowly, or you have pain during feeding, you may want to ask their doctor about a possible tongue tie.
In young children, a tongue tie may occur at the same time as speech or feeding difficulties, but not to worry- a tongue tie does not lead to ongoing speech problems. A speech therapist can work with your child to teach them strategies so that they can produce clear speech even with a tongue tie. Speech therapy should be considered before a frenectomy (i.e., tongue tie surgery), since there is no evidence that having a tongue tie cut will lead to better speech production.
If you have any concerns about your child’s tongue and their speech, contact us for an evaluation! Our SLPs are eager to help you learn more and teach your child new ways to make talking easier.