Why does a baby stick out his tongue and is it dangerous24.05.2022
When and why does a baby stick out his tongue
If the child’s behavior seems strange, you need to carefully observe him. After all, he himself still does not know how to speak, so he has to report problems by changing his behavior. If the baby sticks out the tongue only a few times a day, this is an accessible way of communication for him, which should not cause concern.
If it happens too often, keep watching. Pay attention to the reaction of the baby in different situations and be prepared to describe it in detail to the pediatrician. The options may be:
- The kid is grimacing. During the game, it is natural and is a demonstration of positive emotions, an attempt to reproduce some kind of sound or repeat the movement seen in adults. It often appears during sleep or after feeding, but it should not be frequent and nervous.
- The kid learns to control his muscles, but it’s not working very well yet. No one is alarmed if he randomly moves his legs and arms, and moving his tongue back and forth also becomes a kind of exercise.
- The child lacks attention. If this movement appears in the presence of mom or dad, it indicates that you need to pick up the baby, caress, shake, feed.
- Teeth start to cut. After four months, unpleasant and painful sensations appear in the mouth, the gums swell, the baby scratches them all the time, including with the tongue, and drools.
- Too hot in the room. The baby is uncomfortable, and he tries to communicate this, and in order to increase the evaporation of moisture and cool down a little, he instinctively sticks out his tongue.
Examine the child’s body, look into the mouth. Any redness or rash, loss of appetite, apathy indicate a problem that makes you constantly stick out your tongue. Going to the pediatrician will help determine the cause and get rid of doubts about health.
Features of physiology
There are congenital pathologies of the structure of the tongue that cause unusual behavior and make feeding difficult for up to a year, and at an older age leading to incorrect pronunciation and requiring the intervention of a speech therapist. Some babies have an oversized or forked tongue. It hardly fits in the mouth and literally falls out.
The second problem is a short frenulum – the connection between the tongue and the lower jaw – or its absence. Because of this, the tongue becomes sluggish, inactive. Both problems do not affect well-being, but cause discomfort. Sometimes they can decrease with age. But the issue is cardinally solved with the help of a simple operation, which the child endures much easier in infancy.
When to intervene if the baby starts sticking out his tongue
There are signs that indicate the presence of pathology and are accompanied by involuntary movements of the tongue. By themselves, they are not terrible, but the consequences can be very serious:
- The child does not sleep well. The baby has difficulty falling asleep, shows anxiety, often wakes up or cries out in a dream.
- Constant nervousness. The child becomes irritable for no apparent reason, often crying.
- When lying on the back, the tongue sticks out. This is probably caused by the presence of dust in the mouth or in the larynx, unsuccessful attempts to burp or empty the intestines.
In these cases, you need to try to remove annoying factors, do not visit noisy and crowded places, walk in the fresh air. Pay more attention to the baby, watch his digestion.
Diseases in which the baby constantly sticks out his tongue
In some cases, this behavior indicates the occurrence of a problem – a small or quite serious one. It is better not to specifically look for alarming symptoms in the baby, but you need to know about them in order to prevent more dangerous pathologies:
- Hypothyroidism . If the baby constantly sticks out his tongue, this may be a symptom of hypothyroidism. This disease is caused by disorders of the thyroid gland. It occurs if during pregnancy the mother experienced an iodine deficiency. Its main features are pale, with a marble or yellow tinge of the baby’s skin, developmental delay, blue nasolabial folds. At the same time, the tongue swells and does not fit in the mouth. The diagnosis will be made by an endocrinologist, after conducting appropriate examinations, after which long-term treatment will follow.
- Hypotension of the tongue. If the child is drowsy, inactive and slowly gaining weight, this may be due to a head hematoma, birth injury, endocrine or infectious disease. Often the problem manifests itself in premature babies. A sign of pathology is a sluggish, “loose”, inactive tongue with reduced muscle tone.
- High intracranial pressure . It occurs as a result of difficult childbirth, disorders of the central nervous system, meningitis. The child’s behavior becomes restless, he throws his head back, sleeps little. He has an increased head size compared to his peers, the fontanel slowly tightens, hand tremors, strabismus, and increased muscle tone are observed. If there is a suspicion, it is necessary to consult a neuropathologist, an ophthalmologist, and undergo a diagnosis.
- Atrophy of the facial muscles . This problem affects mainly girls, manifested in the lack of facial expressions. The kid is not able to smile, with grimaces there are no wrinkles on the forehead, the face seems petrified. The reason is associated with disruption of the trigeminal nerve, endocrine glands and the work of the autonomic nervous system. It is a complication after infectious diseases, injuries.
- Thrush . The disease is caused by the fungus Candida, which infects the mucous membrane. A white coating appears in the mouth, the gums become inflamed and redden. The baby sticks out his tongue to reduce the resulting irritation. In this case, you should immediately show it to the pediatrician, who will determine the pathogen and prescribe ointments and mouthwashes. Hygiene, a low-carbohydrate diet will help to avoid this problem.
All these diseases are dangerous for the baby’s health, and a protruding tongue is just one of the manifestations. It is impossible to make a diagnosis on your own. It is necessary to consult a doctor who will analyze the symptoms and choose the appropriate treatment, taking into account the characteristics of the baby’s body.
Whatever the reason, it is impossible to ignore the abnormal behavior of the baby, but it is often not necessary to rush to the hospital right away. If acute attacks that cause pain do not appear, you should observe the child for a while, make sure that the symptom is repeated more than once, and tell the pediatrician about it at the next examination. It is dangerous to delay treatment for serious diseases, but it is no less harmful to treat a baby for no reason. It is better to double-check the diagnosis, conduct additional examinations.
Read more: Tongue tie in a newborn