Tongue-Tie Condition Among Infants, Easy to Cure

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Breast feeding is considered very significant and vital both for the mothers and the infants to accomplish. It was established by several researches and studies that breast feeding can actually give several health benefits among the mothers and infants. In fact, health experts recommend that mothers should exclusively breast feed their children up to six (6) months.

However, there are certain circumstance in which the mother cannot breast feed her infant because of certain diseases which can be transferred through the breast milk. Also, mechanical diseases found among the structures of the mouth or tongue of the baby can also hamper the breast feeding process, but this mechanical problem can be rapidly diagnosed and easy to cure, according to experts.

Tongue-tie or medically known as ankyloglossia is a condition wherein there is a congenital oral anomaly which can actually decrease the mobility of the tip of the tongue. This is caused by having an unusually short, thick lingual frenulum – a membrane which is connecting the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. This disease can vary depending on the degree of severity which is from mild to complete ankyloglossia. This disease can affect feeding, speech, and oral hygiene of an individual affected by the disorder.

According to Dr. Dale Tylor, an assistant professor of pediatric otolaryngology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn, he said in a Vanderbilt news release: “For an infant to properly breast-feed, the baby needs to move his or her tongue to their lips to allow sucking to occur.” Also, if there’s a tethering, the baby has a hard time latching on and uses his or her gums or lips. It becomes painful for the mom, and can even cause bleeding.”

This mechanical problem can then hinder the breast feeding process among infants and their mothers which can actually result to administration of supplemental milk feedings in the form of powdered milk products. Thus, benefits of breast feeding which includes bond between the mother and the baby, antibodies from the breast milk, and other significant health benefits are not achieved.

According to the La Leche League International, in their discussion about tongue-tied infants, “Several health care professionals can assess and treat a restrictive lingual frenulum (tongue-tie), including oral surgeons, otorhinolaryngologists (also known as “ear, nose, and throat specialists” or ENTs), pediatric surgeons, and some pediatricians and general dentists. The mother can ask her health care provider to give her a referral to a specialist. There are several treatment options for a tongue-tie. The simplest and most commonly used in infants is the frenotomy, in which the frenulum is snipped with sterile scissors under a local anesthetic.”

Moreover, mothers with babies who have the said condition should not be severely bothered because about more than two-thirds of babies who are affected with tongue-tie can actually successfully breast feed after a simple, outpatient tongue-tie-clipping medically known as frenotomy, according to Taylor.




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