Parents may be able to detect symptoms of tongue disorders in children by watching for abnormal tongue placement when children form words and by listening for frequent instances of slurred speech, reports WebMD. Parents should also inspect children's teeth for gaps or spaces between front lower teeth.
During infancy, children may move the tongue around rapidly when making sounds or when swallowing, explains the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. This condition, called tongue thrust, typically disappears as children become toddlers. Children who continue to thrust the tongue when speaking, eating and swallowing may have an orofacial myofunctional disorder. These disorders may require speech therapy to teach children how to position the tongue properly when speaking and swallowing.
In addition to observing tongue placement and listening for frequent slurring when children speak, parents may also be able to detect tongue disorders by watching how children eat food, states WebMD. Children with tongue-tie, a condition in which the tissue holding the tongue in place is too short, may have difficulty removing food from teeth using the tongue.
Inspecting the tongue for white patches, which could signal thrush, an oral yeast infection usually caused by antibiotics, allows parents to detect conditions that may require additional medications to cure, reports MedicineNet.