infants + babies
What is a Tongue Tie?
A tongue tie occurs when the thin membrane under the baby’s tongue (the lingual frenulum) restricts the movement of the tongue. You can find your own lingual frenulum by looking in the mirror, opening your mouth and stretching your tongue up. All babies are born with some extent of this tissue, and for approximately 3-15% of newborns, it is so tight that they cannot move their tongues freely. Babies affected by this will struggle with their ability to latch, which leads to poor feeding, nipple pain and trauma, decreased milk intake, and a decline in milk supply over time. Tongue tie, medically known as Ankyloglossia, is simply a congenital oral anomaly caused by an unusually thick, or unusually short, lingual frenulum.
Infant Tongue Tie Symptoms
(For Baby + Mom)
Studies show that infants with Ankyloglossia may have issues latching, gaining weight, creating suction, and staying awake during feeds. In addition, mothers with infants who are tongue tied may experience significant pain in their nipples and difficulty breastfeeding. Symptoms may include inadequate latch, poor breast draining, painful nipples and/or fussiness at the breast.
Symptoms in Baby
Noisy suckling or clicking
Popping on and off the breast
Leaking on the sides of the mouth
Poor weight gain
Coughing or gagging
Noisy breathing/snoring sounds when sleeping
Reflux or colic symptoms
Symptoms in Mom
Flattened nipples after breastfeeding
Nipple pain and damage
Poor breast drainage
Decreased milk production
Will Untreated Tongue-Tie Have Effects into Childhood + Adulthood?
Yes! Untreated tongue ties in infants can lead to difficulty with introduction of solid foods, altered jaw and dental development including a high palate and narrow facial structure, poor sleep patterns, mouth breathing. Poor tongue coordination and corresponding swallowing of air may persist as digestive upset through life. Significant ties may result in delayed speech development. Tooth decay related to heavy plaque and dry mouth is common in tongue-tied children.
Parents will complete a detailed history of baby's health and feeding. Our goal is to move through this treatment with as much success as possible. We favour diagnosis that involves other baby care providers such as chiropractors, physiotherapists, lactation consultants and physicians. Treatment of tongue tie in our care will occur only with commitment to pre-and post-release care with these providers.
Treating a Tongue-Tied Baby
The infant frenectomy is an in-clinic procedure that can be completed during the same visit as our initial assessment, if recommended. Prior to treatment, an effective topical anesthetic gel is applied to minimize discomfort during the procedure. The numbing properties last approximately thirty minutes. For the procedure, baby is swaddled, and safety goggles are used to protect the eyes. During the procedure, Dr. Pada uses a pen-sized laser to release the tight membranes. The procedure takes 10-30 seconds, and baby can feed immediately following.
“All life breathes together” Carolyne Myss
After the Procedure
Breast or bottle feeding is encouraged immediately following this procedure. However, there is an expected healing period for your infant before the full benefits may be realized. Active wound management and daily stretching exercise will be given.
Body work and continued lactation support following the frenectomy procedure is essential for success.
Following the procedure, we will see mom and baby again for a one-week and two-week post-treatment follow-up.
Duration + Fees
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Duration of Assessment Without Treatment: 30 minutes
Duration of Assessment + Frenectomy: 60 minutes
Fees: Assessment: $52 | Tongue: $520.00 | Lip: $360.00
If you choose to return for treatment, $50 of your Initial Assessment fees will be credited towards your treatment fees.