Published on September 21, 2022, Updated on September 21, 2022
Tongue-tie, also called Ankyloglossia, is a condition in which a baby is born with its tongue attached to its mouth. This makes it hard for them to speak, drink, swallow, develop their jaw, or eat. Tongue-tie is often ignored, misdiagnosed, or written off by doctors, and people who don’t know much about the problem are likely to believe these things.
We’ve put together a list of common tongue-tie myths and the truths about them.
Clipping or snipping the tongue tied may seem like an easy way to fix the problem, but it makes things worse. This method leaves behind thick tissue that will have to be removed in the end. When tight fascia is completely released, the function will improve and symptoms will go away. With the laser, we can see all of the surgical areas, there is little bleeding, and we can be very precise. This lets us remove all of the tight tissue while keeping the important structures under the tongue.
The tongue-tie is made up of a thick web of type 1 collagen fibers and fascia that covers less than 1% of the body. Even though some kids do a great job of adjusting to having a tight tongue, no child should miss out on healthy development or struggle with daily tasks because of something that is so easy to fix. If nothing is done to it, it will last until it is old.
Tongue-ties have been talked about for a long time, and people freely talked about them up until the 20th century because it was clear that they made it hard to do everyday things. Less was done to treat tongue ties in the 1920s. Breastfeeding has been mostly ignored for many years, and many parents and experts don’t know what problems it can cause. Because it is getting more attention again, there are now more diagnoses and treatments. Autism is becoming better known and more common, but it seems to be happening more often for reasons that aren’t clear. Therapy for autism and treating tongue-ties are not just passing fads.
Contrary to what most people think, there may be more than one reason why an infant is having trouble feeding, especially in nursing communities where tongue-tie is a common problem. Feeding problems can be caused by things like a baby sleeping in an uncomfortable position or the baby’s head and torso being in the wrong place when they were still in the womb (for which craniosacral therapy, chiropractic, and physical therapy care can help). Suction strength, which is a feeding problem, can be affected by a baby’s overall muscle tone, muscle tone in the mouth, level of jaundice, birth weight, weight loss, and other things.
Your baby’s tongue tie is very important because bottle-fed babies don’t get the same chance to strengthen their tongues, lips, and cheeks as breastfed babies. Tongue and lip knots in babies who are only fed from a bottle may affect their ability to eat solid foods, how their teeth come in, how they talk in the future, how big their nasal airways are, and other things. If you think your bottle-fed baby has lip- or tongue-tie, please have them checked by a lactation consultant (yes, we can work with bottle-fed newborns) or an infant speech pathologist.