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Just how common is tongue-tie? And how much can it affect speech?

(10 Posts)
cakesonatrain Sat 09-Feb-13 14:57:25

2 separate questions.

I hear all the time about babies with tongue-tie. If anyone has a problem BF - has the baby been checked for tt? So I was wondering just how common it is - does anyone know numbers?

DS has a tt, was noted at birth, but never caused us BF problems, so never fixed. He's now 18mo and can stick his tongue out past his lips, but not as far as I would call normal.
He also has very few words - are the 2 likely to be related, or would the tt just affect clarity etc if it was going to cause problems?

WillYouDoTheFandango Sat 09-Feb-13 15:05:09

In the hospital they told me 1 in 10 babies is tongue tied but that recently they'd seen far more than usual and around 2/3 in 10 of all babies born in that hospital had had it.

DS couldn't latch onto the breast at all and really struggled with bottle feeding too. He had a 100% tie. The midwife who cut it told me that it doesn't affect speech at all, but once she cut it DS's cry became much louder and she admitted that it had been restricting his crying. I wouldn't imagine that it would have an effect in the way that you say though, more just clarity as you say.

I have a 100% tongue-tie too, it affected my feeding in the same way but I spoke very early and haven't shut up since

stargirl1701 Sat 09-Feb-13 17:54:14

A HCP mentioned to me that there may be a link between tt and folic acid. As more women know they should take it, the incidence of tt is increasing. She said there was ongoing research into using folate rather than folic acid.

Could be bollocks!

Guntie Sat 09-Feb-13 18:02:44

I have dated someone who had TT. I would highly recommend getting it snipped when your little one is still little. It really affected kissing and other stuff between us. His dentist also told him you are much more likely to grind your teeth if you have TT. Its a much more serious thing to have corrected once you are older and the TT could affect much more than just BFing.

Best of luck

AnathemaDevice Sat 09-Feb-13 20:29:50

DS1 has a tongue tie, but as it didn't affect his feeding nothing was ever done about it. He's nearly 4 now, and has just started speech therapy. He's got a fantastic vocabulary, (and he never stops talking) but his speech isn't very clear.

The therapist says that his tongue tie isn't what has caused his speech problems (he can't pronounce his F's, S's,and th's, and replaces them with W's), but I'm not convinced.

miniandfloss Sun 10-Feb-13 00:36:26

Hi I'm a speech and language therapist (and now also a first time mum to a 10wo) and can help a bit with this...

I've seen lots of children with tongue tie and it's often the first thing parents say when I ask what the concerns are. However a tongue tie would have to be extremely severe to affect speech sound development and would likely cause many many feeding problems first as a baby and be resolved by cutting before speech had developed. Tongue tie will not stop language (words and sentences) developing.

The main ongoing concern is with oral hygiene and if your child is unable to poke their tongue out or lick round teeth and lips then I would be pushing for it to be cut. If your child looks like they have a forked tongue when they try and stick it out it is likely to be too tight .

In terms of speech sounds that would be affected it's a very small group t, d , z, s, l and all of these would be affected not just one. It's very common for children under 5 to have speech sound development difficulties but very rarely are they caused by tongue tie. If I'm doubt about talking get a referral to see an slt for assessment.

Tongue tie was the first thing I checked for after birth but luckily we escaped. Keep hassling mw and hv if you think it is having an affect on feeding as often health profs are not forth coming with getting them snipped.

mawbroon Sun 10-Feb-13 12:44:46

In terms of numbers, I have seen a figure that came from Mervyn Griffiths saying 10%, however I think that figure is from a while ago before there was much awareness of posterior ties, so I would suspect that the figure is higher.

stargirl1701, I have seen the folic acid theory too. It also appears that ties are related to the MTHFR gene mutation.

There is much more to tongue ties than feeding and speech. DS1's tie was undiagnosed until he was 6 and he is now undergoing orthodontic treatment to correct his high palate and orofacial structure which has become distorted by the tie. He suffered a range of problems as long as your arm when he was younger.

cakesonatrain Sun 10-Feb-13 16:19:56

Thanks for all the replies - some useful and interesting things here.

We are keeping a close eye on DS's speech progress for the time being, but will likely speak to someone if he doesn't get more words soon. He is making progress, but don't want him to be left behind. He communicates his desires very well so it's hard to see him as having a problem!

Antipag Sun 10-Feb-13 19:15:32

OP, my DS1 had TTC diagnosed at birth, same as you no problems with BF so didn't do anything, barely had language at 2 yo. Suddenly speech came forth and now I long for just one second of peace. His speech is clear and concise. Incidentally my DS2 has no TT and has a lisp.

cakesonatrain Sun 10-Feb-13 19:41:15

Oh, thank you Antipag, that is reassuring to hear.
DS's tt doesn't look as severe as it was at birth, I don't think. He never quite had the 'forked tongue' look, but just didn't ever stick his tongue out, so I assumed he couldn't - turns out he was just waiting for a reason to stick it out - he does it when he wants a drink now!

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