Tongue tied
Tongue tied can have serious negative affect on facial development and general health. We use Laser to treat tongue tied

Normal Tongue Function
In an infant, a normal tongue moves around freely and can extend outwards between the upper and lower jaw. Whilst swallowing the infants keep their jaws parted and the tongue is placed between gum pads to produce a vacuum for swallowing (called the infantile swallow)
 
At 2.5 years of age when all the milk teeth have erupted, this “infantile swallow” is replaced by the adult swallow. Here the lips are closed, the jaws bite together and the tip of the tongue is raised and pressed against the front part of the upper jaw.
Abnormal Tongue Function
Tongue ties occur in children whose tongue are attached to the floor of the mouth and as a result can’t move the tongue around.
 
Many babies can find it difficult to suckle if they have a tied tongue. It often impedes speech.  Mothers, midwives and doctors see this often. 

If a child has a tongue tie then they do not outgrow their infantile swallow and continue to swallow with their jaw apart. They are likely to breathe through their mouth. This leads to two major facial growth problems
Open bite (where the front teeth do not touch with each other when the child closes the mouth). This happens because during swallowing the tongue sits between the teeth in the front part not allowing the jaws to come together.

The upper jaw does not develop fully resulting in
Narrow upper jaw and thus crooked or crowded upper teeth
The lower jaw being trapped inside the upper jaw, this prevented it to grow properly result in an in big over bite. 

Mouth breather is a breathing problem. The nose functions are to warn, humidify and most importantly filter the air (from dust, allergens…) before it get to our lung.

 

Long term breathing problems are likely to lead to
 i. Snoring
ii. Sleep apnoea leading to tiredness and therefore ADHD
iii. ADHD
iv. Enlarge tonsil, which block the airway and in turn make the above problems worse
v. Multiple ear infections
vi. Bed wetting

 

Treatment options
In Dr Le opinion, we should treat the tongue tie.
There may or may not be any speech impediments or other functional issues however it has been recognised quite widely that facial growth is affected and results in the side effects described above.

 

Laser Resection of Tongue Tie
Under topical (cream) anaesthetic on the tongue tie, we can precisely and painlessly remove the tissue making it very comfortable for your baby. It takes about 30 seconds. There is no bleeding afterwards, no sutures and hardly any discomfort.
Children go to school the day after and adults can go back to work the same day.  Eating is normal.
Babies can suckle immediately after the procedure. 
It is advisable to have the tongue tie remove as early as possible. The reason being between the ages of 12 months and 5 years it is difficult to co-operate with children to ask them to stay still. Under 12 months of age, generally it is easy for Dr Le to apply topical anaesthetic and carry out the procedure. Older children, we preferably like to give sedation. This procedure is done in chair under local anaesthetic if patient is cooperative enough to have the injection.

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