Speech, feeding and sleep issues in toddlers & older children


Some children are able to compensate and have no noticeable speech errors due to a tongue-tie. Those who cannot often struggle with sounds like R, L, S, TH, SH, and Z. Some children with a tongue-tie may have a lisp, talk softly, slowly, mumble or even have a speech delay. Evaluation by a speech therapist should be considered if your child is trying to speak, but is difficult to understand.


Tongue-tie can also cause difficulty chewing and swallowing food and liquids. Inefficient eating behaviors such as choking, gaging, packing food in the cheeks or spitting out food can indicated the presence of a tongue-tie. The child may eat slowly or be picky with textures such as meats or mashed potatoes.


Some children may sleep restlessly and wake easily or snore due to a tongue-tie. Many speech, feeding and sleep issues associated with the tongue-tie are often relieved after treatment.


Physical appearance of the frenum, is not always an indication of what symptoms may arise later in life. The ability to stick the tongue out does not rule out the presence of a tongue-tie. However some physical characteristics to keep a look out for include:


  • Inability to elevate the tongue to the palate with mouth open wide

  • Heart shaped tip of the tongue

  • A thick or tight string under the tongue

  • Difficulty moving the tongue from side to side
texas dental associaiton logo and link Rita M. Cammarata DDS,  Jennifer P. Kong DDS, Adam C. Shisler DDS MSD and Brenden E. Taylor DDS MSD are Board Certified Pediatric Dentists. ABPD american dental association logo and link american assocation of pediatric dentistry logo and link