What stops them? A condition formally known as ankyloglossia, in which the frenulum – the thin bit of tissue that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth – is too short, restricting movement.
More commonly known as tongue-tie, this condition affects nearly 4% of all infants and can make breastfeeding difficult for mother and child alike. A related condition, lip-tie – in which the tissue attaching the upper lip just above the upper front teeth is too short – can likewise interfere with feeding.
Both also can be corrected by a procedure called frenectomy. It’s a quick and simple procedure in which we remove the frenulum with a laser. No anesthetic is needed, and the results are better than with conventional surgery. There’s minimal bleeding and a lower risk of relapse.
Of course, not all cases of tongue- or lip-tie necessarily need to be addressed surgically. A minor tie may cause no problems at all. But if your baby is losing weight by not getting enough to eat – or if nursing is uncomfortable for the mother – tongue/lip release surgery may be something to look into.
Other common symptoms of a problematic tongue- or lip-tie include
- Poor latch.
- Slides off nipple or falls asleep while trying to latch.
- Colic symptoms.
- Reflux symptoms.
- Continuous feedings.
- Gumming the nipple.
- Unable to take a pacifier or bottle.
- Creased, cracked, bruised, blistered or bleeding nipples.
If you have concerns about tongue- or lip-tie, contact us for a consultation. We’d be happy to speak with you.
How can we help?
By now you probably have questions about your dental care. We are here to help. Please contact our office with the form below and one of our friendly associates will reach out to you personally to assist however we can.