New mums may be experiencing breastfeeding problems not realising the problem may be due to Ankyloglossia, commonly known as lip and/or tongue tie.
The diagnosis and treatment of tongue-tie is vital to ensure that mums who want to breastfeed their babies successfully are able to with minimal interruption to their routine.
The obvious sign that the baby has tongue tie is when the tongue is viewed as heart-shaped because the middle is pulled in by the frenulum being too short (the membrane connecting the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth), hence they cannot stick out their tongue beyond their lower lip.
Another sign in newborns is gulping and clicking while breastfeeding because they cannot open their mouths wide enough to latch on properly. They tend to slide off the breast and 'chomp' on the nipple with their gums, causing the mother's nipples to become sore, often with ulcers and bleeding. In a lot of cases these feeding difficulties means the baby fails to gain weight.
Research published in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health in 2005 found treating tongue-tie led to improved feeding in 95% of babies.
Traditionally the division of tongue tie is usually performed without any anaesthetic or with a local anaesthetic to numb the tongue. Sharp sterile scissors are used to snip the tongue tie.
At DentalCareXtra treating lip and/or tongue tie in babies to enable successful breastfeeding is a pain-free procedure performed by way of a soft-tissue laser using a local anaesthetic is required*. This means that there is no bleeding and very quick recovery time for the baby. The procedure only takes seconds and mother can then start feeding baby immediately. It is not unknown for some babies to sleep through the procedure, others may cry for a few seconds.
In some cases, if left untreated, problems can exist for the older child with speech difficulty and difficulty eating some foods and other issues related to muscular formation problems in adults.
For more information on treatment of lip or tongue-ties, please do not hesitate to contact DentalCareXtra. Alternatively, complete the form below, and one of our friendly team members will contact you.
Dr Ghaheri is one of the gurus in this area: http://www.drghaheri.com/blog/2014/3/6/how-does-an-upper-lip-tie-affect-breastfeeding
* Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.