New Parent's Guide To Tongue Tie Basics

As a new parent, the uncertainties and anxieties can be significant even when there are no complications to be concerned about. When your child is struggling to nurse or the doctors are concerned about a condition known as "tongue tie", those anxieties can be overwhelming. Here are a few things you should know about tongue tie and what it means for your baby.

Should You Be Concerned?

While tongue tie is not an overly common condition, it's also not cause for panic or worry. If your baby is found to have this condition, there are many ways to deal with it. The biggest cause for concern with a condition like this is that it can interfere with your baby's ability to successfully latch for nursing, which can limit weight gain and lead to other issues.

How Is It Treated?

In some cases, tongue tie isn't treated at all. In some cases, an affected baby will learn how to compensate for the restricted tongue movement. However, there are many cases where surgery is the recommended course of action. During the correction surgery, a notch is cut into the tissue securing the tongue to the mouth. When done in an infant, the procedure is quick and brings minimal discomfort.

When Should You Consider Surgery?

There are a few situations where surgery is the best course of treatment. For example, if your child is struggling to latch properly and can't feed well, you should consider pursuing surgery. These types of problems can lead to poor weight gain, which can be concerning. Sometimes babies seem to be nursing normally but aren't able to expel enough milk. These babies will often exhibit poor weight gain even without showing nursing problems. In other cases, the limited range of tongue movement can actually cause problems with swallowing. This can often lead to drooling, coughing and gagging when feeding.

What Can You Expect After Surgery?

When the surgery is done in early infancy, there's minimal disruption for your child. In fact, the procedure can even be done without the need for any anesthesia. Most babies are able to return to their normal feeding schedule and care routine after the surgery without any pain, discomfort, or bleeding at all.

Who Does The Surgery?

Tongue tie surgery can be done by your child's pediatrician in some cases, but many recommend that you see a dentist for this type of treatment. Your baby's doctor will give you a recommendation for the best treatment option.

Understanding tongue tie and how to treat it is important, especially if your baby is struggling to nurse.