Consequences of Untreated Lip and Tongue Ties
If left untreated, Lip and Tongue Ties (TOTs) may lead to social, orthodontic and gum-related problems in school aged children and adults.
• Feeding issues – Many children can develop a high arch in the roof of their mouth (palate) as it does not get the benefit of proper shape and molding from the tongue if it is tied down. Many children struggle with not only breastfeeding, but also transitioning from milk to purees or table foods. Some become picky eaters and swallow their food in chunks or even experience choking episodes.
• Speech issues – Many children may develop speech related issues where they have difficulty with articulating “t, d, z, s, th, and n” sounds. This speech impediment is due to limited range of motion and elevation of all parts of the tongue required to produce various sounds.
• Sleep issues – Children and adults can be predisposed to certain types of sleep apnea as a result of an undiagnosed tongue tie. The tongue remains ‘down and back’ in the mouth which leads to restriction of the airway. Snoring, exhaustion, attention deficit disorders, and behavioral issues are often connected back to breathing-related sleep disorders.