Bedwetting can be a frustrating experience for parents, especially when it persists beyond the age of 2 or 3. Diapers and pull-up training pants can usually keep young kids dry during the night, but once they reach a certain age, it becomes more difficult to control the problem. And unfortunately, it can continue into adolescence and even adulthood.
In some instances, the cause of bedwetting beyond toddlerhood isn’t a problem with the bladder or the kidneys. In fact, it can result from a problem with the tongue.
This is often shocking for people to hear. How can a problem with the tongue contribute to extended bedwetting?
What Is a Tongue Tie?
A tongue tie is a condition in which the tissue connecting the tongue to the floor of the mouth is too tight. This restricts the range of motion of the tongue, making it difficult for a person to move their tongue properly.
Tongue ties can cause difficulty with breastfeeding, as well as speech and eating problems. But they can also contribute to bedwetting.
When a person has a tongue tie, the muscles in the throat and mouth don’t work together as they should. This can lead to difficulty with breathing during sleep, as the tongue can fall back and block the airway. This prevents the body from getting to the stage of sleep when hormones are regulated and prevents it from getting enough oxygen, and both of those things play a big role in bedwetting.
Sleep apnea in children is serious and should be treated by a medical professional.
Tongue Tie and Bedwetting
As we mentioned above, tongue ties can contribute to the development of sleep-disordered breathing, such as obstructive sleep apnea, as well as bedwetting. This is because the body doesn’t get enough oxygen during sleep, which can cause the bladder muscles to relax and not be able to hold urine until morning. And then there’s the issue of hormone production.
Hormone production is affected by sleep quantity and quality. One particular hormone, the anti-diuretic hormone (ADH), tells your body to stop producing urine. Your body increases its production as you sleep to prevent you from waking in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. But if your child isn’t sleeping well due to sleep-disordered breathing caused by a tongue tie, they may not be producing enough of this hormone, which can lead to bedwetting.
So, in short, yes, a tongue tie can contribute to bedwetting. If your child is having difficulty with bladder control beyond the potty-training years and you suspect they may have a tongue tie, it’s important to speak to your doctor about it so that the issue can be addressed.
Is Bedwetting a Big Deal?
Bedwetting can be a difficult and embarrassing problem for children, but it’s important to remember that it is very common. In fact, up to 15 percent of 5-year-olds still wet the bed at night. It’s also important to note that bedwetting is not a sign of immaturity or laziness; rather, it is often caused by an underlying medical condition as we mentioned above, such as a tongue tie.
Many children who experience bedwetting into adolescence tend to feel anxious or upset over their bedwetting situation. But bedwetting can be managed with the right treatment.
If your child is experiencing extended bedwetting, it may be worth having them checked for a tongue tie as this can contribute to the issue. Additionally, there are many other treatments available for bedwetting such as medications and bladder training exercises.
If your child is experiencing bedwetting, it’s important to talk to them about it in a supportive and understanding way. Let them know that it’s not their fault and that you are there to help them find a solution. It may also be helpful to talk to your doctor, dentist or pediatrician about the issue so that they can provide advice on how best to manage it.
Treating a Tongue Tie
Tongue ties can be treated with a simple procedure known as a frenectomy. This is a minor surgical procedure that involves cutting the tissue that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth. The procedure is usually done in an outpatient setting and takes only a few minutes to complete.
The recovery time for this procedure is typically short, and most people are able to return to their normal activities within a few days.
In conclusion, a tongue tie can contribute to bedwetting in both children and adults. If you suspect that your child has a tongue tie, it’s important to speak with your doctor about it so that the issue can be addressed.