Tongue Ties Related To Sleep Apnea in Children
Recent studies associate tethered tongues with problems like latching in breastfeeding. However, researchers wanted to know how this adversely affects a child’s growth. They studied children ages 2 to 16 with untreated tongue-tie issues and found severe development problems in children who had not received treatment as infants. Their findings were recently published in the International Journal of Pediatric Research.
Children Sleep Apnea
These problems included anatomical changes, causing abnormal face development and reduced oral cavity size. This results in weak facial structure and abnormal support of the upper airway. If left untreated, this can lead to a collapse of the airway during sleep and decreased oxygen saturation. Sleep disordered breathing (or sleep apnea) is a serious problem that can lead to poor sleep, fatigue, mouth breathing, snoring, and other abnormal breathing. Mouth breathing may be a factor in tonsil enlargement because it causes micro trauma to the back of the throat.
Other serious mouth problems caused by tongue tie include a hard and narrow palate and distortion of the “harmonic face”. Many children had enlarged tonsils and many needed orthodontic treatment. Also, because the tongue-tie had gone untreated, many of the children had problems swallowing and chewing. Others required speech therapy. However, some needed special treatment with a therapist to develop proper function of the tongue and facial muscles.
As a result, the study shows that children with “SDB (sleep-disordered breathing) should be evaluated for a [tongue-tie]. As well children with an abnormally short frenulum should have an examination for the presence of SDB.”
Researchers say tongue and lip ties cause serious problems “early in life”. Sadly, most of the parents of the children who were studied were never told there was a problem. They recommend that “frenectomy should be performed as early as possible.” Please check our Frenectomy page to learn more about our laser frenectomy treatment.