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Untangling the Mystery: The Surge in Treatment for Lip and Tongue Ties

January 12, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — floridatongue @ 5:22 pm
Baby crying due to lip and tongue ties

In recent decades, there has been a notable increase in the number of parents seeking treatment for their infants with lip and tongue ties. This surprising surge has sparked discussions among healthcare professionals and parents alike. What is causing more of these conditions to begin appearing in infants?

The answer may surprise you. Continue reading to learn more about lip and tongue ties and possible reasons for this troubling trend.

What is a Lip or Tongue Tie?

Lip and tongue ties are medically known as ankyloglossia. They occur when the frenulum—the tissue that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth or the lip to the gum—restricts the movement of the tongue or lip. This condition can affect breastfeeding, speech development, and oral health in infants. 

Why Does There Seem to be an Increase?

Several factors may contribute to the rise in lip and tongue tie treatments. Surprisingly, none of them point to an infant health crisis:

  • Increased Awareness: Healthcare providers and parents have become more aware of the signs and symptoms of lip and tongue ties, leading to earlier diagnosis and intervention.
  • Breastfeeding Support: With a growing emphasis on breastfeeding advocacy and support, more attention is being given to breastfeeding challenges, including those related to lip and tongue ties.
  • Advancements in Treatment: Advances in medical technology and techniques have made lip and tongue tie treatments more accessible and less invasive. This has encouraged parents who would have otherwise been hesitant to seek treatment for their child.

What are the Symptoms of Lip and Tongue Ties?

If you’re a breastfeeding mother, you may notice signs that point to a lip or tongue tie in your baby. These signs include:

  • Difficulty Latching: Infants may struggle to latch onto the breast properly, leading to poor feeding due to weak suction.
  • Nipple Pain: Mothers might experience nipple pain, discomfort, or damage due to improper latch or shallow attachment.
  • Stunted Weight Gain: Babies with lip or tongue ties may have difficulty gaining weight at a healthy rate, leading to slowed growth and development.
  • Clicking Sounds: During breastfeeding, mothers may hear clicking sounds as the infant attempts to nurse, signaling a poor latch or suction.
  • Frequent Feeding: Babies with lip or tongue ties tend to nurse more often but for shorter durations due to insufficient nutrition.

The Benefits of a Frenectomy

If you believe that your child has a lip or tongue tie, there’s a simple treatment for it. A frenectomy can be performed by a qualified dentist, separating the tongue or lip from the restrictive tissue. This ultimately leads to a healthier child with more adequate nutrition and fewer developmental issues as they age.

The rise in lip and tongue tie treatments isn’t about an epidemic of the condition. It has come about as healthcare providers and parents have shifted their approach to infant care and breastfeeding support. If your child is suffering from a lip or tongue tie, contact your dentist for relief and guidance.

About the Author

If you’re looking for a skilled expert in treating your child’s lip or tongue tie, Dr. Maggie Davis has the training and technology to help. She is a Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist and Diplomate in the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. This is a respected status less than three percent of all dentists in the US have. Call (727) 786-7551 to schedule a frenectomy consultation at Florida Tongue Tie Institute or visit the website to explore other services.

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