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Speech impediments can be influenced by various factors, and one often overlooked cause is a condition known as tongue tie or ankyloglossia. Tongue tie occurs when the thin piece of tissue (lingual frenulum) connecting the tongue to the floor of the mouth is shorter or tighter than usual, limiting the tongue’s range of motion. This condition can affect speech, oral hygiene and feeding in both children and adults.

Impact on Speech

The tongue plays a crucial role in speech production, articulation, and pronunciation. A tight or restrictive frenulum can restrict the tongue’s movement, affecting its ability to make certain sounds or perform specific movements necessary for clear speech. Individuals with tongue tie might experience difficulty with sounds like “t,” “d,” “l,” or “r,” and may have trouble moving the tongue freely within the mouth, affecting speech clarity and fluidity.

Articulation and Pronunciation Challenges

Tongue tie can contribute to articulation difficulties, making it challenging to form certain sounds or articulate words correctly. For instance, sounds requiring the tongue to touch the roof of the mouth or reach specific areas in the mouth may be affected, leading to speech impediments like lisps, difficulty with specific consonants, or unclear pronunciation.

Feeding and Oral Hygiene Challenges in Infants

Tongue tie can also impact feeding in infants. Babies with tongue tie may have difficulty latching onto the breast or bottle, leading to breastfeeding challenges for both the infant and mother. In some cases, tongue tie might contribute to difficulties with solid food introduction later in infancy. Additionally, restricted tongue movement can impact oral hygiene, making it challenging to clean the mouth thoroughly.

Even if an infant does not have difficulty feeding due to their tongue tie, it still can affect their speech abilities. Removing a tongue tie in infancy can ensure it is healed and the tongue is allowed to move freely when the infant begins to start forming their first words.

Adverse Effects on Confidence and Communication

Speech impediments due to tongue-tie can affect an individual’s confidence and communication skills. Children may become self-conscious about their speech, leading to social anxiety, shyness or reluctance to communicate. Adults with unresolved tongue tie may also face challenges in professional and social settings, impacting their confidence and communication abilities.

Non-Surgical Tongue Tie Removal

Treatment for tongue tie typically involves a simple surgical procedure called a frenotomy or frenuloplasty. This procedure involves cutting or releasing the frenulum, allowing the tongue greater mobility and range of motion. At NYC Tongue Tie, Dr. Gregory Levitin performs this procedure quickly at our office without the need for a surgical center or sutures. In infants, this procedure is often quick, relatively painless and has no recovery time. In older children or adults, the procedure is completed in less than 10 minutes and patients can begin eating and drinking immediately afterward.

Recognizing the connection between speech impediments and tongue tie is essential for accurate diagnosis and appropriate intervention. Addressing tongue tie in infants is ideal, but NYC Tongue Tie can perform a frenotomy on toddlers, older children and adults with our outpatient procedure. To learn more about tongue tie removal can improve speech and overall wellbeing, contact our office in NYC to schedule a consultation with Dr. Gregory Levitin.

Posted on behalf of NYC Tongue Tie

200 W. 57th St., Suite 1410,
New York, NY 10019

Phone: Call (212) 257-3546


Monday & Tuesday 8:30 AM – 7:00 PM
Wednesday & Thursday 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday 8:30 AM – 2:00 PM

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NYC Tongue Tie

200 W. 57th St., Suite 1410,
New York, NY 10019