Tongue Ties and Nursing Mothers – The Most Common FAQs

If you’re a new mother, you may be concerned about tongue ties in your child. A tongue tie is an abnormally thick band of tissue which attaches the tongue to the bottom of the mouth. It can restrict proper movement of the tongue in your infant.

Tongue ties can interfere with your child’s ability to latch onto your breast and feed properly. Later in life, tongue ties can also result in speech impediments, difficulty eating some kinds of solid food, and a number of other issues. If you have questions or concerns about tongue ties as a nursing mother, this quick FAQ from the Willow Pediatric Dentistry is sure to help.

My Child Is Having Trouble Latching To My Nipple. Is This Because Of A Tongue Tie?

Maybe. Tongue ties do usually result in difficulty latching and nursing properly. However, they are not the only cause of latching issues. Your child may have a tongue tie if they are having difficulties nursing, and they are exhibiting symptoms like:

  • “Clicking” noises when feeding
  • Increased suction that may cause nipple damage or pain
  • Regular detaching from the breast when feeding

Latching problems can also be caused by a cleft lip or palate, if you have very large nipples, or if your baby was born prematurely. We recommend seeing a professional to determine the cause of your latching difficulties.

My Child Has A Lip Tie. Does This Mean They Have A Tongue Tie, Too? 

In some cases, lip ties can indicate that your child also has a tongue tie. We recommend taking your child to see a professional like Dr. Alzayat to determine the severity of their tongue and lip ties, and get the appropriate treatment.

Does My Child Need A Frenectomy To Feed Properly? 

This depends on the severity of their condition. In some cases, a frenectomy will not be required to treat minor tongue ties. Many babies have a tongue tie and have no trouble feeding. However, if your child is colicky, having difficulty gaining weight, and not latching onto your breast properly during feeding, they may need a frenectomy to feed properly.

Are Frenectomies Safe? Can My Baby Nurse After Treatment? 

Yes. At Willow Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Alzayat will assess the lingual frenulum and cut it precisely to release the tie. The process is very fast and minimally-invasive, and it typically only takes a few days for your child to heal from the procedure. In fact, breastfeeding can provide some relief from discomfort during the post-operative healing process.

Got More Questions? Get Answers At Willow Pediatric Dentistry Today! 

Dr. Alzayat has years of experience working with tethered oral tissues (TOTs) like tongue ties and lip ties. If you are a new mother and are having nursing difficulties, or have questions about tongue and lip ties, we would love the opportunity to meet you and your little one.

Dr. Alzayat can examine their mouth, and help you understand the best way to resolve your child’s tongue and lip ties. So don’t wait. If you need help with tongue ties in Rancho Santa Margarita, contact us right away. You can give us a call at (949) 966-0669, or come to our office at 22032 El Paseo, Suite 215 Rancho Santa Margarita, CA for more information.

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