As a parent, one of the greatest bonding experiences you can have with your child is through feedings. And whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding, for some babies it can be difficult to latch. There is also the potential for you to experience pain or discomfort when attempting to breastfeed. If you are experiencing any of these issues first hand, it could be a sign that your child is suffering from tongue tie. The Marietta pediatric dentists at Nia Pediatric Dentistry will utilize their expert knowledge to provide your baby with the tongue tie treatment they need.
What is Tongue Tie?
Also known as Ankyloglossia, tongue tie is a medical condition in which the web of tissue (lingual frenum) beneath the tongue attached to the bottom of the mouth is unusually thick, short or tight. This not only limits the mobility of your child’s tongue, but can also affect their feeding, swallowing and speaking patterns.
What are the Symptoms of Tongue Tie?
While tongue tie can sometimes be difficult to detect, look for the following symptoms in your baby to determine if they may have it.
- Inability to raise tongue to upper teeth
- A notched or heart-shaped appearance when the tongue is distended
- Limited range of motion
- Unable to stay latched while breastfeeding or bottle feeding
- Clicking sounds or drawn in cheeks while nursing
- Nipple discomfort while breastfeeding including bruising, scabbing or cracking of the nipple
- Weight loss or inability to gain weight despite normal feedings
The Stages of Tongue Tie
Like other medical conditions, tongue tie tends to increase in severity as it progresses. Below are the four stages of tongue tie.
- Stage 1: The web tissue is attached to the tongue tip.
- Stage 2: The web tissue has reformed further behind the tongue tip.
- Stage 3: The web tissue has tied closer to the tongue’s base.
- Stage 4: The presence of posterior tongue tie. This is when the web tissue is beneath a covering of mucous membrane. In this circumstance, your Marietta pediatric dentist would need to physically feel for the tongue tie to make a diagnosis.
The Importance of Tongue Tie Treatment
If you suspect that your child may suffer from tongue tie, it is incredibly important that you seek treatment. Without it, babies can experience speech difficulties that prohibit them from making certain sounds and reaching age-appropriate milestones. It can also cause issues with their oral hygiene, as this condition can prevent their tongue from removing debris from their mouth, which can lead to gapping, decay and gingivitis. And in some instances, tongue tie can interfere with regular breathing patterns, which increases the risk of SIDS.
What is the Process of Tongue Tie Treatment?
Our Marietta pediatric dentists can help you seek tongue tie treatment for your child. This usually involves a surgical procedure known as a frenotomy. During a frenotomy, the web tissue is snipped using scissors to free the tongue’s range of motion. Since this tissue has few blood vessels or nerve endings, these procedures are generally quick and painless. The recovery period only lasts a few days and babies can usually start feeding again within a 24 hour period.
Work with Marietta Pediatric Dentists to Get Tongue Tie Treatment for Your Child
If you suspect that your baby may suffer from tongue tie, know that there is a solution. Work with our Marietta pediatric dentists to receive comprehensive care guaranteed to correct your child’s tongue tie. Contact Nia Pediatric Dentistry today to schedule an appointment.
At Nia Pediatric Dentistry, we provide outstanding pediatric dental care that creates healthy smiles for a lifetime.