What is Tongue-tie in babies
Tongue-tie, or ‘ankyloglossia’ to give it its medical term, describes a condition that affects the way the tongue moves in the mouth. For 3 to 10% of babies, their frenulum (the cord-like skin joining the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth) limits the movement of their tongue. This often means that babies can not stick their tongue out further than their lips, or they can not move their tongue from side to side. The most visible tongue-ties are when the frenulum is attached to the tip of the tongue.
What problems does tongue-tie cause for babies?
Tongue-tie can cause a baby to have difficulties breastfeeding and sometimes bottle feeding too. Babies need to be able to latch on to both breasts effectively, but babies with tongue-tie can not usually latch on sufficiently. Some babies can not open their mouth wide enough. Bottle-fed babies have difficulty creating a seal with the teat, resulting in ineffective sucking. This could lead to milk leaking out of their mouths, meaning they are swallowing air, causing a lot of wind.
Tongue-tie symptoms: Can I see if my baby has ankyloglossia?
Sometimes you may be able to check yourself when your baby is yawning or crying try.
Do I need to have my baby’s tongue-tie fixed?
If you or your baby is not experiencing any difficulties, then you should be fine, and there is no need.
Tongue-tie treatment: What can be done to treat my baby?
The procedure is quite straight forward, and the baby may require some pain relief afterwards. A professional will cut the frenulum to release the tie, allowing your child to move their tongue more freely. The procedure does not seem to cause discomfort; however, there are some risks, such as significant bleeding.
How can I find someone who would do this?
Speak to your local doctor who will refer your baby for further treatment. If your baby is not feeding properly then speak to your doctor straight away
Does the treatment resolve the problems?
Research in this field had shown that the majority of babies who had difficulties latching on before, were able to sufficiently after the surgery.