Have you ever wondered what the symptoms of tongue-tie in infants look like? “Lingual frenums” are the thin strip of skin just under the tip of the tongue, connected to the floor of the mouth. But in babies with a tongue tie, the skin is extremely tight or thick.
For many babies, the lingual frenum never poses an issue, or it simply stretches out over time. However, that’s not always the case. Tongue ties can significantly affect your baby’s development and diet, which is extremely crucial in their earliest weeks and months.
What is a Tongue Tie in Babies?
Babies need to be able to use their tongues to suck on a bottle or breastfeed. But when the frenum under their tongue is too taught, it prevents the tongue from moving upward to be able to create a correct seal for nursing.
Although some babies may be able to adapt their feeding technique, a moderate to severe tongue-tie can still create constant issues with mealtime. Not to mention alter their oral development as they grow into childhood.
Symptoms of a Tongue Tie in Infants
How can you tell if your baby has a tongue tie? Usually, a diagnosis is made by your pediatrician, lactation consultant, midwife, or in this case our children’s dentist. Symptoms of a tongue tie in infants or newborns usually include:
- Fussiness when feeding
- Inability to latch or suck
- Pain during breastfeeding
- Weight loss
- Gassiness or upset stomach
Occasionally, babies will also have clefting at the tip of their tongue, where the frenum is tightly attached. It’s also highly common to see that the tongue doesn’t lift upward very much since the skin beneath it is keeping it “tied” in place. With limited tongue movement, it affects their latch.
When a baby can’t latch well to suck, they’re unable to feed properly or get as much milk/formula intake as they need. This usually leads to stress on both the baby and the parent, especially when your infant is constantly fussy from not being able to eat.
Tongue Tie Treatment in Brighton
Fortunately, treating a tongue tie is relatively straightforward. The tongue-tie release procedure is called a “frenectomy.” Most people just call it a “tongue-tie release.”
During a frenectomy, we use a soft tissue laser to gently release the skin under your baby’s tongue. In years past, a more invasive procedure was used where the tissue was trimmed or cut away. This obviously was much more uncomfortable for the baby and also resulted in sensitivity, not to mention longer recovery times.
When we use a laser to treat the tongue tie, it gently removes the skin while slightly cauterizing the outermost layer of the sensitive oral mucosa. This ensures far less inflammation and discomfort while practically eliminating bleeding during the procedure.
After your baby’s tongue-tie release, they can immediately nurse or take a bottle with a fuller latch. We recommend feeding immediately after the treatment to soothe your little one. Older toddlers are usually given a sugar-free sucker or something similar. They should be back to themselves in practically no time!
When to Call a Dentist
Is your baby having trouble feeding? Do you suspect that they have a tongue tie? When every mealtime is heartbreaking, a tongue tie may be to blame.
If you’re noticing signs of tongue tie in a baby or newborn, Kids City Dental offers tongue tie treatment in Brighton. Our dentists are able to work with parents to screen for early red flags and provide fast relief.
We’re happy to see newborns as well as infants and toddlers for tongue-tie correction. By treating the situation early, we can facilitate better oral growth patterns and speech development. But when the tongue is inhibited, it can impair jaw growth, lead to orthodontic concerns, and even delay their speech.
Kids City Dental can also help with lip ties, which are similar situations restricting lip movement.