Trouble Breastfeeding? Tongue Tie May be the Cause

Trouble Breastfeeding? Tongue Tie May be the Cause

It is well known that breastfeeding has an incredibly positive effect on children’s growth and development. Unfortunately, many breastfeeding parents run into problems when trying to feed their child.

If you are struggling to breastfeed your child, whether due to pain or discomfort, plugged ducts or low milk supply, it may seem easier to give up and switch to another feeding option. However, these problems are often caused by an easy to solve problem: tongue tie.

Tongue tie, whether anterior or posterior, is an easily diagnosable condition that can cause severe issues for both you and your baby. Keep reading below to learn more about the signs and symptoms of tongue tie as well as treatment options.

Signs Your Infant May Have a Tongue Tie

If your child has a tongue tie, signs and symptoms will be noticeable in both the baby and breastfeeding parent.

Breastfeeding Problems Experienced by Babies with Tongue Tie

A baby with tongue tie will experience several problems related to breastfeeding. Look out for these tell-tale signs of tongue tie in your infant:

  • Difficulty latching. Babies born with a tongue tie will have trouble attaching and staying attached for a full feed.
  • Trouble gaining weight. Because they struggle to stay latched for a full feed, many babies with a tongue tie will struggle to gain weight. They will also seem unsettled and hungry all the time.
  • Clicking sounds when they feed. Also related to their inability to stay latched, babies with a tongue tie will often make a clicking sound when feeding as they try to stay attached to the breast.

If you notice any of these symptoms in your infant, yourself or your partner, it’s important you consult with an experienced pediatric dentist as your child may be struggling with a tongue tie. To encourage healthy development and growth and prevent future complications, tongue tie correction will likely be necessary.

Problems Experienced by Breastfeeding Parents

Breastfeeding is an extremely intimate and powerful act between mother and child. Because of this, if your baby has a tongue tie, it can also cause severe problems for the breastfeeding parent. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, your infant may be struggling with a tongue tie or related issue:

  • Severe pain with latch-on
  • Incomplete breast drainage
  • Constant or chronic pain during nursing
  • Infected nipples
  • Plugged ducts or nipple trauma such as cracking, bleeding, bruising, creasing or flattened nipples
  • Low milk supply
  • Sleep deprivation due to frequent night feedings

Breastfeeding should not be a painful experience. If you or your partner are suffering from any of the above symptoms, and you suspect a tongue tie may be the problem, be sure to seek help from your pediatric dentist.

Tongue Tie Laser Treatment

Tongue tie can cause serious health problems for both babies and parents. Luckily, treatment is simple. Tongue tie is easily treated with a simple outpatient procedure called a frenectomy. In a study by the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, found that after undergoing a frenectomy, latching for tongue tied infants “significantly improved”.

If your child has a tongue tie, you will be given the options of having the procedure done with a scalpel/scissors or with a soft tissue laser.

At Gep TOTs Dental Group, we specialize in dental laser treatments for tongue tie as it is a safe, effective and comfortable method for your child. This option offers a sterile procedure and faster healing time. Dental laser treatment though not completely painless, it is a procedure completed in seconds and need for local anesthesia or sedation is often not necessary

If you are struggling to breastfeed your infant, tongue tie may be the cause of your problems. Luckily, tongue tie is both easy to diagnose and treat. Get in touch with one of experienced pediatric dentists today to learn more about tongue tie and dental laser treatment.

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