Updated: May 10
Lazy tongue is a relatively common condition that affects around 4-11% of newborns. It is extra common in boys than girls and also can be hereditary.
The prevalence of the condition may be higher in certain populations. For example, a take look posted withinside the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology observed that the superiority of tongue ties turned into better in kids with Down syndrome in comparison to the overall population.
The lazy tongue can also affect adults, although the prevalence in this population is not well-established. Some studies suggest that up to 10% of adults may have a tongue tie that affects their speech or oral hygiene.
It's worth noting that the diagnosis of lazy tongue can be subjective and may vary among healthcare professionals. Some may consider a tongue tie to be clinically significant only if it is causing functional issues, while others may consider any degree of restriction to be significant. Therefore, the true prevalence of lazy tongue may be difficult to determine accurately.
What is LAZY TONGUE?
A lazy tongue, additionally called tongue tie or ankyloglossia, is a situation wherein the frenulum, the skinny strip of tissue that attaches the tongue to the lowest of the mouth, is just too short or thick. This can limit the motion of the tongue, making it hard for people to carry out positive responsibilities related to the tongue, consisting of speaking, eating, and keeping excellent oral hygiene.
The situation can arise in each kid and adult, and it is able to have a lot of signs depending on the severity of the tongue tie. For example, infants with a severe tongue tie may have difficulty breastfeeding, while older children and adults may have trouble pronouncing certain sounds or words, have difficulty swallowing or chewing, or have poor oral hygiene due to difficulty cleaning the tongue.
If left untreated, a lazy tongue can have long-term consequences for speech and oral health. However, with appropriate diagnosis and treatment, individuals with lazy tongues can often improve their tongue function and overcome the associated challenges.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM THIS?
Children and adults who have a clinically significant lazy tongue can benefit from proper diagnosis and treatment. Here are some points and explanations regarding who can benefit from treatment:
a) Infants with difficulty breastfeeding: Infants with a severe tongue tie may have difficulty latching onto the breast or maintaining a proper suction during breastfeeding. This can cause feeding problems, weight loss, and other complications. In such cases, a simple frenotomy procedure, in which the frenulum is cut, can help improve the infant's ability to breastfeed.
b) Children with speech difficulties: Children with a tongue tie may have difficulty pronouncing certain sounds or words, leading to speech delays or difficulties with speech production, or even problems like dysarthria. In these cases, speech therapy may be recommended to help the child develop proper speech and language skills. If the tongue tie is significant, a frenotomy procedure may also be recommended to improve tongue function.
c) Adults with speech or swallowing difficulties: Adults with a tongue tie may have difficulty pronouncing certain sounds or words, causing speech problems or embarrassment. They may also experience difficulty swallowing or choking during meals. In these cases, speech therapy and/or a frenotomy procedure may be recommended to improve tongue function and alleviate symptoms.
d) Individuals with poor oral hygiene: Lazy tongue can make it difficult for individuals to clean their tongue properly, leading to bad breath and dental problems. In such cases, a frenotomy procedure can improve tongue function and allow for better oral hygiene.
It means quite a bit to take note that the choice to go through treatment for lethargic tongue ought to be presented on a defense-by-case premise, considering the seriousness of the condition, the particular side effects the individual is encountering, and the likely dangers and advantages of treatment. A thorough evaluation by a healthcare professional with experience in diagnosing and treating lazy tongues is essential to determine the appropriate course of action.
WHAT METHODS ARE INCLUDED?
The treatment for lazy tongue typically involves one or a combination of the following methods:
a) Frenotomy: Frenotomy is a simple surgical procedure in which the frenulum is clipped or cut. The procedure is quick and usually performed in a doctor's office under local anesthesia. Frenotomy is often recommended for infants with difficulty breastfeeding, as it can improve their ability to latch onto the breast and feed effectively. It can also be beneficial for older children and adults with significant tongue ties that are causing speech or swallowing difficulties.
b) Frenuloplasty: Frenuloplasty is a more extensive surgical procedure that involves making a small incision in the frenulum and then reattaching the tongue to the bottom of the mouth with sutures. This procedure may be recommended for individuals with severe tongue ties that cannot be adequately addressed with a frenotomy alone.
c) Speech therapy: Speech therapy can be beneficial for individuals with lazy tongues who are experiencing speech difficulties. A speech therapist can work with the individual to develop proper speech and language skills, and to help them learn to use their tongue more effectively. It is also used as a dysarthria treatment in individuals who show symptoms of dysarthria.
d) Myofunctional therapy: Myofunctional therapy is a type of therapy that focuses on retraining the muscles of the mouth and face. This therapy can be beneficial for individuals with lazy tongues who are experiencing speech or swallowing difficulties, as it can help them develop better control over their tongue and other oral muscles.
The specific treatment method recommended for lazy tongue will depend on the severity of the condition, the age of the individual, and the specific symptoms they are experiencing. A healthcare professional with experience in diagnosing and treating lazy tongues can help determine the appropriate course of treatment for each individual.
Overall, the lazy tongue is a manageable condition, and individuals who experience symptoms should seek the guidance of a healthcare professional with experience in diagnosing and treating this condition. With proper evaluation and treatment, individuals with lazy tongues can improve their quality of life and overcome any challenges associated with this condition.
Some studies to refer:
a) “A review of the literature" by Hazelbaker, Alison K. (2010)
b) “From Diagnosis to Treatment" by Messner, Anna H. et al. (2019)
c) "A randomized controlled trial comparing two tongue-tie division techniques for breastfeeding infants" by Amir, Lisa H. et al. (2004)
d) “A systematic review" by de Felício, Cláudia Maria et al. (2015)