Tongue-tie (also referred to as “ankyloglossia”) is a congenital condition that affects some newborn babies. In most children, the lingual frenulum — a mucous membrane fold located underneath the tongue – usually separates before birth, giving the tongue free range of movement and the ability to function normally. But in children with tongue-tie, this thin strip of tissue doesn’t separate or is shorter than it should be. The result is that the tongue remains attached to the floor of the baby’s mouth. Many people go through their whole lives with less severe cases of tongue-tie and don’t even know it. But for children with more serious tongue-tie conditions, it can have a negative impact on their overall health. Fortunately, there are ways to resolve this condition and the symptoms that go along with it. At 12 Oaks Dental, we are pleased to offer these services to our patients from throughout the Austin, Texas area.
There is a reason why some people may live with their tongue-tie condition for years and not even realize they have it. There are different grades of ankyloglossias, ranging from Grade 1 (the least severe) to Grade 4 (a condition that likely has negative impacts on the patient’s quality of life). People with Grade 1 may experience few symptoms and require no treatment at all. But the more severe the ankyloglossias is, the more likely the patient is to experience symptoms.
Symptoms of Tongue-Tie in Babies
The most obvious indication of tongue-tie in infants is the inability to breastfeed properly. Symptoms in babies include the following:
- Difficultly latching on or staying latched onto the mother’s nipple when breastfeeding.
- Difficulty gaining a normal amount of weight.
- Making a clicking noise when breastfeeding.
- Being hungry all the time.
- Digestion problems.
- Sleep and breathing issues.
- Difficulty moving the tongue from one side to the other.
- Difficulty sticking the tongue out.
Because the mother’s nipple is normally protected during breastfeeding by the baby’s tongue covering the gums, mothers of tongue-tied babies often experience cracked and/or sore nipples, recurring mastitis, and a reduced supply of milk.
The best way to have tongue-tie diagnosed in your child is to ask your dentist or pediatrician for help. At 12 Oaks Dental, we are focused on providing oral health care for the entire family, including the very youngest members. We urge our Austin, Texas area patients to bring their babies in for a tongue-tie assessment at an early age, so that the condition and be properly diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.
Contact Us Today
To find out more about tongue-tie, contact our office today and schedule an appointment with Dr. Worob or Dr. Cronin-Barron. We are pleased to serve patients from throughout the Austin, Texas area.