A common congenital alteration in the population is the short lingual frenulum or also called ankyloglossia, affecting approximately 4 out of 100 newborns, of which it has a higher incidence in males. It is an oral anomaly in which the tissue called the lingual frenulum is, in addition to not being very flexible, shorter than usual. Hence, the lower surface of the tongue is totally or partially glued to the floor of the mouth, depending on the point of union of the frenulum with the language.
The cause of the short lingual frenulum is unknown. Still, genetic inheritance is considered an important factor, although there are many cases in which there is no family history of this anomaly. Although it is an alteration that restricts the movement of the tongue, in most cases, it may not represent serious problems, especially if specific techniques are identified and followed to compensate for the problem. If you want to know more about the subject, at FastlyHealwe, we inform you about the short lingual frenulum: symptoms and exercises.
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Primary symptoms of tongue-tie
Depending on the degree of ankyloglossia, the symptoms that the patient presents will be one or the other. For example, in mild cases, it could go unnoticed as the child’s development progresses. This anomaly can be noticed because some physical abilities of the tongue are lost, including:
- The language cannot touch the hard palate or upper teeth, keeping the mouth open.
- The tongue cannot extend beyond the teeth.
- It is difficult for the tongue to reach the lower lip to moisten it.
- The movement of the tongue from one side to the other between the corners of the mouth is not possible or is difficult.
- When extending the language gives a heart, forked, or spoon appearance.
On the other hand, there are symptoms from birth that may indicate that you suffer from a short lingual frenulum, although they can be confused with other problems in breastfeeding. This problem also usually affects the mother with sore breasts, cracked nipples, and a decrease or excess in milk production; while in the baby, the following signs should be taken into account:
- Slow weight gain or loss.
- He constantly suffers from colic and gas.
- You have reflux.
- You are irritable, even after being breastfed.
- It is difficult for him to latch on to the nipple.
- You have difficulty maintaining the suction of the milk without being able to ingest the amount you need.
Short lingual frenulum: types and effects
It is essential to indicate that the alteration in the union of the bottom of the tongue with the floor of the mouth is classified in several degrees and according to the type that is suffered will be the effects that it may produce, being more evident in some people than in others.
In general, the affectations can be noticed with problems in lactation, between 25% and 50% of cases, and later in the normal formation of the maxillofacial structure, which includes poor development of the palate, jaw, and alignment or size of teeth.
Together, this could affect the quality of life of the person with a short lingual frenulum since it may be difficult for them to carry out activities that others can, such as playing a wind instrument or licking an ice cream; Furthermore, there may be problems in the pronunciation of words, mainly those that contain the consonants d, l, n, r, s, t, and z. Also, you may have difficulty chewing and swallowing food or breathing through your mouth.
Some exercises for short lingual frenulum
To treat the effects of ankyloglossia, a specialist should be consulted to determine the degree of immobility of the tongue and the problems it is causing in the person. If it becomes a condition that prevents a healthy life, you will likely opt for a frenotomy, a surgical intervention to cut the lingual frenulum. However, most of the effects of ankyloglossia can be corrected with some exercises; it is also recommended to perform them even if they have been operated on; among them:
- With your mouth open, raise your tongue a little and hold it for 10 seconds, then try to do the same but with your language out of your mouth. You can repeat it several times a day.
- Keeping your mouth open, stick your tongue out as far as possible and put it back in without brushing your teeth or lips. You can alternate the speed of the exercise and repeat it ten times in a row.
- Stretch your tongue out of your mouth as if you wanted to touch your nose, then towards your chin, and finally towards your ears. Perform five repetitions for each case at least three times a day.
- Direct the tip of the tongue back as far as possible, making it fold over on itself. Hold it this way for 10 seconds and try not to touch the palate.
- Place the tip of your tongue at the base of your upper teeth, and without removing it, slowly open and close your mouth. Repeat the exercise 10 times at least three times a day.
- Run your tongue across the roof of the mouth, front to back and side to side. Repeat it several times a day.
- Try to click your tongue, similar to the sound of trotting horses, and for this, you must put the tip of the language, making it back with the palate, and then click forward. You can start with slow clicks alternating with faster ones of variable duration.
- Put the tip of your tongue in front of your upper teeth and then put it behind them. Repeat this about ten times at various times of the day.
- Run your tongue over the upper teeth from right to left and vice versa, repeating the exercise with the lower teeth—alternate slow and fast runs, stopping at some points for a few seconds.
- Take a small sip of water and hold it on your tongue by sinking its center. Please wait for 10 seconds without it leaking from the sides and then swallow the water. It would help if you did this exercise at least five times.
- Exercise the pronunciation of consonants that are difficult for you when repeating sentences, sayings, or tongue twisters that contain them. Practice it several times a day, mainly those that cause the most significant problem.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.