Recent studies suggest that speech, solid feeding, and sleep difficulties may be linked to restricted tongue function. Children with tongue restrictions and speech, feeding, and sleep issues underwent lingual frenectomies with a CO2 laser, paired with myofunctional exercises. Questionnaires were completed before, 1 week after, and 1 month following treatment. Thirty-seven patients participated in the study (mean age 4.2 years [range 13 months to 12 years]). Overall, speech improved in 89%, solid feeding improved in 83%, and sleep improved in 83% of patients as reported by parents. Fifty percent (8/16) of speech-delayed children said new words after the procedure (P = .008), 76% (16/21) of slow eaters ate more rapidly (P < .001), and 72% (23/32) of restless sleepers slept less restlessly (P < .001). After tongue-tie releases paired with exercises, most children experience functional improvements in speech, feeding, and sleep. Providers should screen for oral restrictions in children and refer for treatment when functions are impaired.
Keywords: ankyloglossia; feeding; frenectomy; frenotomy; sleep-disordered breathing; speech; tongue-tie.