Tongue-tie in Babies: 5 Typical Signs to Watch Out For

Normally, the tongue is loosely attached to the base of the mouth with a piece of skin called the lingual frenulum. In babies with tongue-tie, this piece of skin is unusually short and tight, restricting the tongue’s movement. This prevents the baby from feeding properly and also causes problems for the mother.

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See typical signs to watch out for:

1. Problems Latching On To Breasts and Sucking. Babies with tongue-tie aren’t able to open their mouths wide enough to latch on to their mother’s breast properly. (Bottle-fed babies usually don’t have feeding problems, because it is easy to get milk from the nipple of a bottle.)

2. Injured Nipples: Since babies with tongue-tie aren’t able to open their mouths wide enough to latch on to their mother’s breast properly, they tend to slide off the breast and chomp on the nipple with their gums. This is very painful and the mother’s nipples can become sore, with ulcers and bleeding.

3. Low Weight Gain: Some babies feed poorly and get tired, but they soon become hungry and want to feed again. In most cases, these feeding difficulties mean the baby fails to gain much weight.

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4. Speech problems: This is because the tip of the tongue cannot rise high enough to make some sounds, such as t, d, z, s, th, n, and l, clearly.

5. Personal or social problems related to the restricted tongue movement, such as problems cleaning food off the teeth with the tongue.

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