Finding out that something is wrong with your child typically takes a trip to the doctor for a checkup. There are some things, however, that you can find out are wrong with your child right at home. Tongue tie, or ankyloglossia, is a tongue that is not able to move like other tongues are. Children who have this medical issue will have tongues that are attached to the bottom of their mouth in a way that stops a wide range of movement. When this happens, there will be small symptoms that show up as clues. Here are some ways to tell if your child suffers from medical tongue tie.
They can't stick out their tongue
Children sticking out their tongue is a learned behavior of defiance that many parents attempt to discourage. If your child has attempted to stick out their tongue, but the tongue is barely able to broach the end of the teeth, this is one of the symptoms of ankyloglossia. If you ask your child to stick out their tongue purposely and they are unable to do so, they should get their tongue checked out by a dentist.
Baby cannot attach to the breast
If you have a young baby that suffers from tongue tie, they may start to breastfeed, but will detach easily and quickly. Many moms may believe that they need to try a new latch, so there can be a trial and error issue. If trying different methods of breast latching has not worked, your child may have a short frenulum. If they do, you can take them to their pediatrician or take them to an eyes, ears, and throat specialist who also works with children. Taking care of the issue while they are young can solve many problems for them later.
Noticeable speech impediment
Children who have short tongue attachment tissue and suffer from tongue-tie may have a speech impediment. It may be difficult for them to say certain words, as they have trouble reaching their tongue to the roof of their mouth to say certain syllables. Schools may also notice the issue and talk to you about putting them into speech therapy. Before you try speech therapy, take them to a dental appointment to see if the issue is a short frenulum. If this is the problem, the answer will be a quick fix and your child can get started relearning proper speech patterns.