tongue-tieBreastfeeding is ideal for an infant’s health and dental development. Yet try as they might, some children have trouble feeding properly.

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. 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.

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