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My Child Has Trouble Eating. Could It Be a Tongue Tie?

Posted on 4/1/2024 by Weo Admin
toddler sticking tongue out and smilingThere is an old expression that a person is tongue-tied, which means they are unable to speak. While you may have heard of the expression before, you may not know it is based on fact. The tongue can be held to the bottom of the mouth so tightly it might be difficult for a person to speak, eat, or swallow properly. Here is a little more information about mouths, tongues, and speech problems.

Tongue Ties

Your frenulum holds your tongue to your mouth. A frenulum is a tissue band that acts as an anchor. Normally, the frenulum is thick and tight enough to control the muscle in the tongue but not thick or tight enough to prevent the tongue from moving. If the frenulum is overly tight or thick, your child will have trouble eating as a baby, including breastfeeding. You may notice that it takes your baby a long time to latch onto your breast or a bottle.

Other Issues With Child Mouths

However, if your child is not a baby and has been growing and thriving, they may have another issue when it comes to eating or speaking. Some children are born with cleft palate, which means the hard or soft palate on the roof of their mouth has a space or a hole in it. Cleft lip or palate can be easily fixed, and most of these birth defects are fixed by the time a child is in elementary school.

Children may also have issues with eating or speaking if they have issues with their bite, especially if they have a crossbite. Crossbites prevent children from closing their mouths properly because their teeth do not meet in the middle. As with other issues, crossbites can be fixed, usually with braces.

What Should I Do?

If you are worried that your child may have an issue with their speech or eating, one of your first steps should be to take them to our dentist. Our dentist will be able to tell if your child has an issue and what treatment they need to fix the issue.

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Dental Blog - San Jose, CA • Nancy Shiba, DDS
Nancy Shiba, DDS, 125 N Jackson Ave, Suite 103, San Jose, CA 95116-1914 / (669) 306-7669 / / 5/23/2024