The Effects of Tongue Ties on Speech

Tongue ties, also known as ankyloglossia, occur when the range of motion of the tongue is restricted, due to overdeveloped tissue that tethers the tongue to the floor of the mouth. Without proper treatment, tongue ties can cause a number of different issues. Tongue ties can affect the bite and structure of the mouth, the ability to breastfeed, and even the ability for your child to speak properly.

How Do Tongue Ties Affect Speech?

The tongue is very important in the formation of certain sounds and “phonemes” in speech. To understand what we mean, take the letter “T” as an example. If you say “T” to yourself aloud, you’ll feel your tongue brace against your upper teeth, and then move downward to produce the sound. You can form this phoneme easily because your tongue has a complete range of motion and is not affected by ankyloglossia.

However, if your child has a tongue tie, their ability to move their tongue and properly make these sounds may be impaired. A few of the common sounds that children with ankyloglossia struggle with include:

  • T
  • D
  • Z
  • S
  • Th
  • R
  • L

These sounds all require the tongue’s full range of motion. If your child has a tongue tie, they may still be able to approximate these sounds, but they may sound “slushy.” Not all children with tongue ties have these issues with speech, but if it sounds like your child may be developing a speech impediment, come in today for a consultation.

How Do I Know If My Child Has Tongue Ties?

It can be difficult to diagnose a tongue tie on your own. While you may be able to recognize some of the symptoms like a speech impediment or difficulty breastfeeding, you should turn to a professional for a diagnosis. If you think that your child may have a speech impediment, we recommend seeing a speech-language pathologist. These specialists are trained to recognize common speech impediments and their root causes, and they can assess your child to determine whether they have ankyloglossia.

How Are Tongue Ties Treated?

In some cases, speech therapy may be enough to correct the effects of tongue ties on speech. However, in some cases, your child may be referred to a specialist, such as Dr. Witkoff, for a frenectomy.

This simple procedure can remove the excess tissue that is tethering the tongue to the floor of the mouth and give your child’s tongue a full range of motion. At our office, we use special cold laser tools to perform frenectomies, which minimizes discomfort and encourages a faster healing process.

Come in for a Consultation Today!

At Colorado Tongue Tie, we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of ankyloglossia and other tethered oral tissues in patients of all ages. From infants to adults, we provide compassionate, knowledgable treatment. To get started, contact us at (720) 507-0077, or feel free to come to our office at 4704 Harlan Street, Denver, CO 80212.

Healthy Tongues, Healthy Lives

At Colorado Tongue Tie, our goal is to support the well-being of families by addressing restricted oral tissues (ROTs). We cater to patients across all ages, from infants to adults, with an understanding of the diverse needs at each life stage. Our treatments, utilizing cool laser technology, are designed to be as efficient and comfortable as possible. We're dedicated to providing a caring environment, recognizing that each patient's journey towards better oral health is unique.