Tongue tie is a common problem that exists in newborn babies. In medical terms, it is called ankyloglossia. It is caused when the tissue that connects the bottom of the tongue to the gums is shorter than normal. Due to this, the baby feels difficulty in moving the tongue which causes several other problems. This problem is present from the time of birth but often it is not recognized in its initial stages. In some cases, it can be hereditary that is, transferred from the parent to the younger generation.
This problem can be mild or severe. If it is mild, you will notice a small part of the tissue under the tongue to be stretched when the tongue is moved. In a severe case, this stretching may be too much due to which the tongue will become heart shaped because of the continuous pressure on its mid part. This continuous pressure may also cause the gums to loosen causing dental problems such as loosening of teeth or an uneven dental structure. For a newborn tongue tie baby, it becomes very tough to suck milk and it is also discomforting for the breastfeeding mother. If due to any unavoidable reason, the problem is not detected at an initial stage, the baby may also develop speech problems.
A grown up child may complain a difficulty during eating, licking an ice cream, playing a wind instrument and even talking. Such a child will not be able to pronounce words like ‘th’,’s’,’d’, ‘t’, ‘l’, etc. If the tissue extends to the very tip of the tongue, it becomes even more difficult for the child but in such a condition, there are more chances of the problem to be detected at an early age. For breastfeeding mothers, it is easy to detect this problem as they may sense the inability of the baby to suck properly. This may cause breast pain to the mother. Often when unable to suck properly, the baby swallows a great amount of air during feeding which may cause pain in the baby’s stomach. If it continues for a longer time, the baby may become weak due to insufficient feeding and a constant difficulty experienced by him.
If you have experienced any such problems in your baby, you should immediately consult a doctor so that a timely treatment can be suggested. There are four types of treatments available for a tongue tie baby which are:
Depending upon the age group of the child and various other factors, a suitable treatment method can be suggested. For instance, for newborn tongue tie baby, snipping or surgery can be performed. But it may be a bit difficult to make a grown up child understand the importance of the surgery as he may feel panic. So a surgery under anesthesia or laser treatment is a better option for him.