Answer ( 1 )

  1. Hello Dear,

    Thank you for writing to us at MediMetry.

    Tongue-tie is when the connection between the lower surface of the tongue and the floor of the mouth (the frenulum) comes very close to the tip of the tongue. The tip of the tongue cannot move far and it may have a small V shaped indentation (notch). There are two major areas of controversies related to tongue tie - Breast feeding problems and speech problems.

    Tongue-tie and breastfeeding: While most babies with a tongue-tie can breastfeed well, lactation specialists think that tongue-tie could be a problem in a baby who is having breastfeeding difficulties such as:
    * not being able to attach (latch on) to the breast well
    * baby lose suction and sucks in air
    * baby's mouth makes a clicking sound during feeding
    * nipple pain during a feed
    * nipple damage
    * prolonged feeding
    * feeding frequently but for short periods at a time
    * poor weight gain due to poor attachment and poor sucking action.
    Many women in one study reported that there were improvements in breastfeeding soon after the frenulum was 'released' (2 to 3 millimetre cut made). However for some babies, releasing the frenulum did not lead to any improvement in breastfeeding.

    Speech:
    Most children with tongue-tie have no speech problems, but some have articulation problems (difficulty making some sounds clearly). Around the age of three, these speech problems may be noticeable, especially with the sounds of l, r, t, d, n, th, sh, and z. It may be of value to check with a speech therapist if more than half of a 3 year old child's speech is not understood by people outside of the family.
    Although there is no clear way to tell which baby with tongue-tie will have speech difficulties later, the following are commonly found in children who go on to have speech problems:
    * V-shaped indentation at the tip of the tongue
    * inability to stick the tongue out past the upper gums
    * inability to touch the roof of the mouth with the tongue
    * difficulty moving the tongue from side to side.
    As a simple test, check if the child can lick an ice cream cone without much difficulty.

    Releasing a tongue tie:
    It is usually simple to cut the frenulum. There is some controversy about whether some anesthesia is needed. It does cause some pain, but babies seem to settle down quickly, especially if they are breastfed soon after the treatment. I recommend that a baby is assessed and treated by an oral surgeon.

    Hope this answers your query. Feel free to write back with follow-up questions.
    Stay connected to MediMetry for regular tips for new moms and preparing yourself for managing a new born!