You may have heard of a common condition called “tongue tie” in babies, which can affect baby’s feeding skills.Tongue tie in babies may lead to feeding problems and issues with gaining weight for baby

Tongue tie, also called ankyloglossia, is when the tissue attached to the underside of the tongue and the base of the mouth is very tight, thick, or extends particularly far forward in the mouth. Because of this, the tongue cannot move freely. This is a separate condition from lip tie, in which the lip is usually stuck around the gum line.

Is it serious?

Every case of tongue tie is different and some are more attached than others. Tongue tie can be so severe it will seem a tongue is stuck to the floor of the mouth, or so slight that it’s not noticeable unless you checked for it or asked a doctor to check.

How can you tell if baby is tongue tied?

Tongue tie is often diagnosed when children have issues with breastfeeding and sucking. A baby who is tongue tied might slip off the breast or have difficulty latching on. They might make clicking noises and break suction during breastfeeding. If babies are experiencing feeding issues related to this, they may also have trouble gaining weight. You might suspect tongue tie if you notice your baby becomes easily frustrated during feeding and feeds for an unusually long amount of time.

In some cases, mothers might notice they’re producing less milk because they aren’t receiving much stimulation during feeding. Such issues can make breastfeeding painful and cause nipple tenderness.

Watch our quick video, made for parents, to learn more about tongue tie:

I think my baby may be tongue tied. What do I do?

It’s never too late to notice an issue and seek a medical opinion and potentially therapy for newborns who are tongue tied. Therapy can help children with feeding difficulties and noticing an issue is the first step toward improvement that can come from treatment. If you suspect your child is tongue tied or has a feeding difficulty, you should consult your pediatrician, a certified lactation consultant, or a speech-language pathologist.

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