What Is Tongue-Tie?
Tongue-tie, also known as ankyloglossia is a condition present at birth that limits the movement of tongue, since the thick piece of tissue (lingual frenulum) tethers the bottom of the tongue’s tip to the floor of the mouth.
In some cases, the tongue-tie is in the posterior position instead of at the tip, often overlooked by medical professionals who have not been trained to identify it. Some patients also have a lip tie where a piece of tissue (labial frenulum) tethers the upper lip to the gums.
As we develop in the womb, these labial and lingual frenulum should thin – however when tongue and lip-tie is present, this can create many health issues beyond just cosmetic considerations. It restricts tongue and upper lip movement and interferes with breastfeeding and other important developmental functions like proper speech and breathing, deep sleep, good dental hygiene and more.
Does Your Baby Have Tongue-tie?
A baby’s symptoms can include poor latching on during breastfeeding and milk dribbling easily from the mouth during nursing, poor weight gain and spitting up often, or you may notice that your baby is overly gassy or constantly fussy.
The Mother’s symptoms can include painful nursing and poor breast drainage, blistered or cut nipples, and plugged ducts or mastitis.
Tongue-tie is common in boys and girls. In some cases, it’s often not identified until later in life, so please alert us if you suspect your child might have tongue-tie or if you are noticing any of the before-mentioned symptoms.
Tongue-tie responds well to osteopathic treatment performed by an osteopathic physician along with a laser procedure performed by an experienced dentist or ENT. The procedure may be performed a few days after birth or even into adulthood should the condition go unnoticed.
Most patients, post-procedure, report minimal pain and irritability for several minutes afterward, or soreness for a few days following the procedure.