A tongue tie, also known as ankyloglossia, is a condition in which the tissue under the tongue is too short or thick, restricting the movement of the tongue. It can make it difficult to move the tongue from side to side and interfere with breastfeeding, speech, and other activities.
In some cases, a tongue tie may need to be surgically corrected. Also called frenuloplasty, it is a simple procedure performed to loosen the lingual frenulum, performed under local anesthesia. But which symptoms should parents observe if their children have tongue ties?
1. Poor Latch
Breastfeeding can be a beautiful and rewarding experience for both the mother and the baby. However, it can also be frustrating and challenging for both parties if the baby is not latching on correctly. One of the most common causes of poor latching is tongue tie.
A poor latch is one of the most common symptoms of tongue tie. A baby may have difficulty opening their mouth wide enough to latch onto the breast or have trouble staying latched on. A doctor or lactation consultant can evaluate your baby and determine the best action.
2. Clicking Noise
A clicking noise when a few different things can cause breastfeeding. Air bubbles may cause it in the baby’s mouth, or it could be caused by a short frenulum (the band of tissue that connects the tongue to the bottom of the mouth).
In either case, the clicking noise can be distracting and uncomfortable for the mother and baby. If you are experiencing this issue, it is essential to consult a doctor or lactation consultant to determine the cause and find a solution.
3. Falling Asleep While Feeding
Falling asleep while breastfeeding is common, particularly for newborns and infants. In most cases, it is a natural and normal part of the process. However, if your baby frequently falls asleep while feeding, it could be a sign that they are not getting enough milk.
If this is the case, speaking to a lactation consultant is vital to ensure your baby gets the nutrition they need. It is also essential to ensure that your baby is comfortable and relaxed while feeding, which can help prevent them from falling asleep.
4. Painful Breastfeeding
If breastfeeding is painful, consulting with a health professional is necessary. Various factors, including incorrect latch, blocked ducts, and tongue tie, can cause painful breastfeeding. They can help you identify the pain’s cause and advise how to address it.
Lactation specialists can help you identify the pain’s cause and advise on alleviating it. If the pain persists, seeking medical attention as soon as possible is essential, as this could be a sign of a more serious issue.
5. Mouth Breathing or Snoring
Mouth breathing or snoring can indicate a more severe issue, such as tongue ties. A doctor can perform a physical exam to determine if a tongue tie is present and other possible causes of mouth breathing and snoring. Sometimes, a tongue tie can be corrected with a simple procedure. After the process, the patient will no longer experience speaking, swallowing, or breathing difficulties.
Tongue ties may seem simple, but they can result in more severe health problems. The condition can interfere with everyday activities, such as eating, speaking, and breastfeeding. Sometimes, a tongue tie can cause the tongue to appear heart-shaped when sticking out.
Treatment for a tongue tie typically involves a procedure known as a frenectomy. The method consists in cutting the tissue connecting the tongue to the floor of the mouth, allowing the tongue to move more freely. It can be done using a laser or a scalpel, usually taking just a few minutes.
Lexington Smile Studio is a cosmetic dentist in Lexington helping patients correct oral issues. We offer laser procedures to repair tongue ties, making our patients feel better while retaining function. Learn more about the best exercises after lip tie release by browsing our website today.