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tongue clipping

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 
Due to the circ issue, I am loathe to cut any sort of healthy tissue!

My son's ped dentist said that he is somewhat tongue-tied, and his tongue should be clipped, and that would help him talk better. (he's 4.) My son is in speech therapy, but the speech therapist has never mentioned that. I know that my dh had his tongue clipped as a child, so maybe it is genetic, but I really didn't think people "did that to kids" anymore.

And my son was a champion nurser....so he couldn't be too tongue-tied, right?

Anyone know anything specific about tongue clipping?
post #2 of 68
oh yes! Just like you, i am so weary of doctors that want to cut-up kids. This sounds like really aggressive treatment. Perhaps he will outgrow it? I guess I would suggest more personal research on it and less invasive treatments in your search for answers. good luck.
post #3 of 68
Oh yes, people do it! It's not a huge deal in an infant; unlike circ it really is just a snip. I did it on my newborn and I am SO GLAD- for nursing reasons, though, which is not where you are right now. I don't know how much more involved it would be in a 4-year-old. I would seriously research it before doing anything, including talk about it w/ the speech therapist.

I know there is a genetic component. It runs in DP's family too. His brother had to have his clipped for speech reasons (he wasn't breastfed so they didn't know until he was older that it was causing a problem.
post #4 of 68
I don't know a whole lot about this, just FYI.

I have heard of kids being able to nurse without problems, but having speech difficulty with speech. I would ask the speech therapist about it before having that done.

Yes, people still do tongue clipping to facilitate nursing and talking. Keep researching and asking questions!
post #5 of 68
My friend got hers clipped when she was in her 20's.
post #6 of 68
http://www.brianpalmerdds.com/frenum.htm I've referred to this website & presentation a lot in the breastfeeding forum... it has some graphic pictures so be warned if tongues w/ stitches would gross you out!
post #7 of 68
My sil was tongue tied at birth (very severely) and no one did or said anything about it. Her speech is terrible (even at 38) She had it clipped by the orthodontist when she was 14.

My ds was tongue tied (not tight frenulum, but the bottom of his tongue was attatched to the floor of his mouth) We nursed through six months of bloody nipples and finally found an ENT who was willing to do the surgery. He numbed his mouth and then clipped under his tongue. He nursed right away, and for the first time, with a painless latch for me. No stitches were necessary.
post #8 of 68
We had a frenotomy done when ds #2 was 4 days old. he had lost well over 10% of his birthweight, my milk nipples were beyond sore and we coldn't figure out what was going on.
i knew something was wrong since i had nursed dd. my LC saw the attached frenulum and sent us straight to an ENT. one quick snip and he was nursing like a champ and a whole new baby!
post #9 of 68
Personally I think that if being tounge tied is making bfing hard or it is messing with there ability to talk it needs to be done. From mom's who have had it done here they say that didnt hurt the baby and it was just a fasst snip. Now him being 4yo he would prolly need at least a shot of novican because the frenulum is much thicker now. I personally know a little girl who is severly tounge tied and she has so much trouble talking. been in speech for years with little improvement that I have seen. She is 7yo now. If it was my child I would have it done if it was interfering with nursing/speech.

My dd has speech issues and if I could fix them I would in a heart beat to protect her from the teasing I know will be coming her way. I wish I didnt have to worry about others making fun of her but I know for a fact that to be a bit different means you are wide open for ridicule.
post #10 of 68
Yes, seriously, if it can help with speech, I would not hesitate to have it done. My DP's brother who was clipped, his son is 12 and it's hard to understand him in English OR Spanish, despite speech therapy! He has a huge lisp. I am going to ask him to show me his frenulum.

Get some other opinions, see if you can find a doctor or speech therapist who is very experienced with this to evaluate the frenulum and see just how it might be restricting the movement of the tongue (which is of course how we make all the different sounds in our speech.)
post #11 of 68
As a PP said, unlike circ, frenulotomy really IS just a clip. The Nursing Mother's Companion mentioned a study that found it didn't make any difference in speech, but that's all I know. I WOULD go for a second opinion before doing any cutting of any area, though.

(I came into this thread all prepared to defend clipping for tongue-tied as it relates to nursing - but really, for speech I have no idea/opinion.)
post #12 of 68
I'm not sure how I feel about doing it for speech reasons, but certainly for nursing. Perhaps there are exercises that can help without any snippign needed?
post #13 of 68
there is a HUGE difference between circing and clipping the tongue frenulum. Most importantly, you are not sutting off highly sensitized, functional skin, you are merely snipping a little bridge that has very few nerves to allow him to use his tongue more normally.

All 3 of mine were tongue-tied to different degrees at birth. It hurt to nurse ds1 the first week or so and his frenulum stretched on its own (the heart-shaped tongue went away fairly early.) Ds2 was EXTREMELY painful to nurse and his was clipped at 8 weeks after a long and desperate search to find a doc who was willing to do it (3 different docs told me he'd need to have it done when he was older for speech reasons, but no reason to do it now--give him a bottle if you're too much of a wuss to put up w the nursing pain. GRRR!!!!) ds3 is 10 mos and still has a heart shaped tongue. Never caused any nursing problems. Well, actually we did have trouble the first week or so. He has/had a bubble palate as well as a tight frenulum, but my midwife didn't feel clipping his frenulum would help.

I would clip his tongue in a heartbeat if someone told me it would help his speech problems (if he had any.) My sister and brother couldn't speak Spanish b/c they can't roll their R's. I know now it's b/c they're t-t'd. I was in speach therapy as a young child b/c I had difficulty w/ certain sounds. I think s's, sh's and something else. I remember my frenulum tearing, I think I fell w/ something in my mouth, can't remember. I wonder if that actually is what fixed my speech problems...???

I know someone who clipped her own frenulum as an adult b/c she couldn't roll her R's adn founf out she was tongue-tied. SHe said it didn't even really hurt. Less than getting your ears pierced anyway. Just a slight pinch and that was it. Not sore afterwards or anything.
post #14 of 68
Originally Posted by Lula's Mom
Yes, seriously, if it can help with speech, I would not hesitate to have it done. My DP's brother who was clipped, his son is 12 and it's hard to understand him in English OR Spanish, despite speech therapy! He has a huge lisp. I am going to ask him to show me his frenulum.
But would his speech be this bad if it had been snipped earlier, before his speech patterns were ingrained?
post #15 of 68
I had my sons done...

I was lothe to do it, but I was desperate to breastfeed... and thought it might help (but unfortunately for us it was way too late and he would NOT take my breast for ANYTHING.)

Anyway, the nurse asked me if I wanted to leave... no way was I going to do that... so I stayed and watched. it wasnt THAT bad... they did kind of strap his hands down so he wouldnt hit her and cause her to cut wrong or whatever... the hardest part was getting him to keep his mouth open, and it was a quick tiny snip.
he was back in my arms and didnt seem to be in too much pain after.

I dont regret having it done, especially if it had to be done later in life for speech reasons anyway. I still regret not being able to breastfeed... but thats another story.
post #16 of 68
My brother had his clipped at birth because his tounge wouldn't come off the bottom of his mouth. He even had trouble with a bottle.

I had mine also clipped it wasn't as severe.

Yes it can affect his speech so can many other things.....

One other reason to think about getting it clipped (I know you don't want to think about his but I know a couple this is an issue) kissing and oral sex. The husband couldn't do either until he had an accident and the oral surgeon did it to give himself more room to work.
post #17 of 68
Thread Starter 
I'm going to ask the speech therapist about it, thanks. The ped. dentist said that it's a hard area to numb in a 4 yo.
post #18 of 68
Originally Posted by wendy1221
But would his speech be this bad if it had been snipped earlier, before his speech patterns were ingrained?
A lisp is usually caused by a tongue thrust. I had a heavy lisp as a kid, and speech therapy cleared it up for me. I do know adults that went through therapy, but never got the hang of talking with out a lisp. It's a hard thing to break.
post #19 of 68
i never knew my DD's heart-shaped tongue was from a tongue-tie until she was 7 and the dentist offered to cut it witha laser! i let her decide because it hadn't caused any problems except for her latching with her teeth for 2.5 years.

I had DS checked at 6 weeks because he had not yet developed a consistent latch and sure enough that was the problem. Our naturopath laid him on the table, opened some sterile scissors and talked and cooed to hom while she put a gloved finger under each side of his tongue and quickly snipped it. He smiled at her! There was one or two drops of blood. We immediately had our first pain-free nursing session!

Anyone ever jammed a chip or something under their tongue? That hurts waaay more!
post #20 of 68
Thread Starter 
FYI, I found this:

"Release of tongue-tie, if accompanied by speech therapy, results in a mild
improvement in articulation and speech. Tongue-tie release alone does not result in speech improvement."


"there is enough evidence that good speech is still possible with significant tongue-tie and that
speech problems can be overcome with speech therapy without having to undergo frenulectomy."



and I read that in a 4 yo., most of the time the tongue clipping is done under general anesthesia! Yikes!
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