Is your child tongue tied?
Tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) is a condition where the thin piece of skin under a baby’s tongue (the lingual frenulum) is abnormally short and may restrict the movement of the tongue
Tongue-tie affects between 3 and 4% of Australian babies and this rare abnormality often causes babies to have trouble breastfeeding due to their inability to form the right mouth shape. Babies who have tongue-tie are also more likely to have difficulty breathing and swallowing because their tongue isn’t able to perform its proper function.
Tongue-tie differs in degree and in mild tongue-tie, the tongue is only bound by a thin strip of tissue, called a mucous membrane but in the most severe circumstances, the tongue is completely fused to the floor of the mouth.
Symptoms of tongue tie and lip tie
Sometimes tongue-tie isn’t easy to spot, and often it’s not possible to see it just by looking. It may not be found until later when your baby has trouble feeding.
Some common symptoms of tongue tie and lip tie include:
- Slow weight gain
- Pain or discomfort during feeding
- The tongue can’t poke out past the lips
- Baby has trouble latching on
- Baby makes clicking noises and/or dribble during feeds
- Excessive reflux or colic
- Cracked, sore or bleeding nipples
Treating tongue-tie and lip-tie
There are two treatment options for tongue and lip-tie. The traditional method involved cutting the fraenum with a scalpel; what this meant was a patient would have an injection of local anaesthetic and then the fraenum would be cut and sutured. For this procedure, the patient would have to sit perfectly still which usually meant babies would have to be placed under general anaesthetic. The second treatment option is a soft tissue laser which is less invasive and less painful.
Soft tissue laser
At Honeysuckle Dental in Newcastle, they use a soft tissue laser to provide patients with an effective treatment that is carried out quickly and with very little discomfort. Once your baby has been treated with the soft tissue laser, they should have full function of their lips and tongue. This means they should be able to breastfeed normally again, and any other difficulties associated with tongue-tie or lip-tie should be reduced.
When can this procedure be performed?
The soft tissue laser can be used on babies up to 10 months old. After this age, treatment becomes more complex as the mouth and jaws start to develop.
Honeysuckle Dental in Newcastle offer tongue-tie treatment for your baby
At honeysuckle dental we treat these conditions fast and effectively minimising stress and anxiety for you and your baby. Our soft tissue laser can restore the full motion of lips and tongue, it enables your baby to swallow and breastfeed properly, does not involve surgery and is performed from our practice in Newcastle.
To find out more information on tongue-tie and lip-tie, or to book your child in for a consultation, contact Honeysuckle Dental today.