There’s so much to learn when you’re a first-time parent. The experience can be equally parts thrilling and nerve-wracking, especially with so much to learn. It can be particularly trying when your baby eats for a long time. Even more concerning is when these long feeding times are combined with their never quite seeming to be full. The good news is that a common cause of this could be a condition called a lip tie or tongue tie. Kids 360 Pediatric Dentistry is here to help you understand lip and tongue ties and give you options for resolving them!
What Being Lip-Tied or Tongue-Tied Means For Children
So, unfortunately, your baby having a lip-tie or tongue-tie doesn’t mean they’re particularly quiet. Instead, it means that the band of tissue under the tongue, or between the gum and teeth, is larger than normal. This increase in size means that their tongue or lip can’t move freely. This makes it difficult for them to latch onto a breast or bottle easily, making it difficult for them to eat efficiently. The band of tissue that is the source of the concern is called the ‘frenulum,’ or in the case of the tongue, the ‘lingual frenulum.’ While generally harmless, the complications that can occur with it are not. In addition to causing issues with feeding properly and speech development. If left untreated, it may even interfere with the development of their gums and the arrival of their adult teeth.
Thankfully, this condition is easily treated, and there are signs to reveal its presence:
- Difficulty With Breast Feeding – Latching on is necessary for your child’s breastfeeding. The entire areola area should be covered, not just the nipple. If your child doesn’t seem to be able to latch on to more than the nipple, they may have a tie.
- Painful Breastfeeding – First-time breastfeeders may find the experience unusual, but there shouldn’t be any pain involved. Persistent discomfort or pain during breastfeeding may indicate your child isn’t latching on properly.
- Infant Fatigue While Eating – Children with a tie must work harder to get full. This may mean that your child gets frustrated or exhausted from trying to eat. The presence of a tie may mean that your baby isn’t able to breathe properly while eating and may struggle to try to eat, leading to fatigue.
- Poor Weight Gain – Another sign that your child may struggle with a tie is that they aren’t gaining weight properly. Difficulty eating leads to struggles with getting sufficient nutrition, and that’s a straight shot to a baby not gaining weight properly.
See Kids 360 Pediatric For Lip or Tongue Tie Treatment
If your child has a tongue or lip tie, our team has ways to help. Treating ties is a straightforward and relatively risk-free procedure. Using a laser scalpel, we cut the excess frenulum away in a procedure known as a frenectomy. It only takes a few minutes to perform, and the anesthesia will make sure your baby doesn’t experience any discomfort during the procedure. If you want to learn more about frenectomies and ties, call us at (832) 271-6114 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Mayuri Appareddy at our clinic in Richmond, TX.