WHAT IS A TONGUE TIE?
Tongue Ties and Tethered Oral Tissues (TOTs) are fascia or connective tissue that restricts movements of the tongue (up & down, sideways, as well as protrusion) or lip depending on the location of the tie. TOTs can be found under the tongue, under the upper lip, or along the inside of the cheek. Tongue Ties are often associated with a high arched palate, earlier gestational ages, can occur with a lip tie, & runs in families.
DOES MY CHILD HAVE A TONGUE TIE?
Tongue Ties and Tethered Oral Tissues appear to be a controversial subject these days. To get the best information, one should see a specialist trained in the assessment, evaluation & treatment of TOTs, such as an ENT or pediatric dentist, who have been trained to pick-up on all the tongue tie varieties. For babies, the first specialist is usually the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) trained to do oral examinations & functional assessments, as well as make referrals to a local preferred provider for further evaluation & release. IBCLCs should be working with other providers as it usually takes a multidisciplinary approach to resolve tongue tie issues.
WHAT ISSUES COULD MY BABY HAVE?
* Inability to hold pacifier in mouth *Difficulty latching & staying latched *Making clicking noises while nursing *Muscle quivers while feeding *Falling asleep before finishing feed *Decreased amount of milk transfer *Sleeping with mouth open *Troubled by gas & reflux *Losing or not gaining weight *Needs to eat frequently
WHAT ABOUT BREASTFEEDING ISSUES WITH THE MOTHER?
*Nipples look like a new tube of lipstick *Experiencing cracks & sore nipples *Milk doesn’t drain from breast *Plagued by plugged ducts & mastitis *Milk supply dropping
WHAT CAN AN IBCLC DO?
IBCLCs do oral exams to assess for tethered oral tissues of all kinds, as well as a physical assessment to assess for tightness in the neck or torso as a result of the tight fascia — connective tissue that runs throughout the whole body. They can tweak how to position the baby for the most comfortable latch. Weighted feeds are performed to know exactly how much milk is transferred. A care plan will be discussed with you for how to resolve your issues, which may include how to increase a milk supply & how to supplement via the bottle or at the breast, as well as give referrals to preferred providers to relax the tight tissues in the baby. If you are experiencing any breastfeeding issues, you can save yourself & the baby a lot of grief by speaking with a lactation consultant earlier rather than later!