Tongue-tie, professionally known as ‘Ankyloglossia’, is a restriction of the tongue that can interfere with an infant’s ability to breastfeed. The result can be poor nourishment and failure to thrive. This is a congenital condition (found at birth). A white band known as the frenulum extends from the base of the tongue almost to the tip, and inhibits the normal motion of the tongue.
This condition sometimes runs in families.
Babies who have lip ties, which are way easier to seen by parents, also have tongue tie. This is due to the fact that the tongue and the lip develop from the same embryonic tissue, when the baby is 3 months in mother tummy.
Functions of the tongue:
1. Breastfeeding, breath, suck and swallow
2. Build the mouth and face from normal functioning. We swallow about 2,000 times a day, and the tongue can exert up to 500 g of forces on the teeth and jaw. There fore this swallow action build the face
3. Eating solids: chew, swallow, clear food from the mouth down to our stomach
5. Affect breathing and airway.
Babies with tongue tie will NOT be able to carry out the above functions well. This is a Dysfunction of the tongue. This mean he or she will NOT grow, develop and being healthy as well as he/she can be!!!
Signs and Symptoms of Tongue tie and lip tie in infant
– Difficulty latching
– Slipping off the nipple
– Lethargy during feeding
– Sleepiness during feeding
– Irritability during feeding
– Poor weight gain
– Clicking noise during feeding
– Trickling of milk whilst breastfeeding or bottle-feeding
– Digestive complications (e.g. increase in flatulence, reflux, nausea, heaving and vomiting )
– Nipple pain/injury for mother
– Increase risk in nipple/breast infections
– Diminished milk supply from mothers
Tongue ties in Children:
– Children with tongue tied are almost always breathing through their mouth. This leads to major facial growth problems including:
Open bite (where the front teeth do not touch with each other when the child closes the mouth). This happens because during swallowing the tongue sits between the teeth in the front part, not allowing the jaws to come together.
Under develop and narrow upper jaw and thus causing crooked or crowded upper teeth due to lack of space for those teeth
The lower jaw being trapped inside the upper jaw, this prevented it to grow properly result in an in big over bite.
– It often impedes speech.
– Mouth breathing which is a breathing problem.
Long term breathing problems are likely to lead to
ii. Sleep apnoea leading to tiredness and therefore ADHD
iv. Enlarge tonsil, which block the airway and in turn make the above problems worse
v. Multiple ear infections
vi. Bed wetting
Adult tongue tie:
Treatment: Laser Frenectomy
A frenectomy is the surgical elimination of the fold of mucosal skin under the tongue or the mucosal attachment of the lip (frenum).
Lasers are known to have advantaged over conventional scissors and scalpels.
The advantages include:
– More precise
– Less damage to surrounding tissues
– Bactericidal reducing risk of infection
– Less discomfort and soreness during and after the procedure
– Less swelling and inflammation post-treatment
– Less bleeding
Training about tongue tie, lip tie Diagnosis and Treatment options is not in the current curriculum of a basic Medical or Dental degrees for most Universities. For this reasons, your regular Doctor(s) may not be able to help you. Therefore it is important that you get your child assess by a team of Health Practitioner that is familiar with Diagnosis and Treatment of babies Tongue tie.
After graduation from his Dental degree, Dr Le had extra training to use laser since 2001, Dr Le has further his knowledge in orthodontics and perform Frenectomy for his orthodontic patients since 2005. He is also trained with the Tongue Tie Institute, a world leader in tongue tie training based in Australia.
Dr Le release tongue tied babies as young as 3 days old, help infants with breast feeding. If you have breast feeding problems for your infant, call us today on 65631313 for an appointment!
Dr Nathan Le offer this same service at Best Western Dental Centre in Sydney.