What Is a Tongue-Tie?

From the Show: Wellness for Life
Summary: If your baby is having trouble breastfeeding, it might be due to a medical condition called a tongue-tie.
Air Date: 1/22/16
Duration: 10
Host: Susanne Bennett, DC
Guest Bio: Nicole Archambault Besson EdS, MS
Nicole-BessonNicole Archambault Besson, EdS, MS, CCC-SLP, CLEC is an ASHA board certified speech-language pathologist, orofacial myofunctional therapist (OMT), and sleep literacy advocate.  She is the founder and executive director of Minds In Motion, a pediatric clinic in Santa Monica, California. As an OMT, Nicole devotes a large portion of her clinical practice to working with oral dysfunctions resulting from restricted lingual frenula (aka, tongue-ties).  

Nicole is on the faculty of the Academy of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (AOMT) and is currently a student in the Mind, Brain, & Teaching graduate certificate program at The Johns Hopkins University. She holds an EdS with a specialization in Brain Research and concentration in Instructional Leadership from Nova Southeastern University, a MS in Speech & Hearing Sciences from the University of New Mexico, and a BA in Speech & Hearing Sciences from Washington State University.  

Nicole is a seven time recipient of the ACE award from ASHA for her dedication to continued professional study. She is a national speaker on the topic of sleep-disordered breathing, for which she also writes professionals articles on.
What Is a Tongue-Tie?
A tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) is a medical problem often seen in babies where a tight piece of skin exists between the underside of their tongue and the floor of their mouth.

It is a congenital condition that occurs more often in males.

A tongue-tie can impede breast feeding, tongue mobility, proper oral hygiene, and the ability to communicate and be understood. It can cause difficulty chewing food or swallowing liquids and solids and can also impact nighttime sleep breathing. 

Some signs of tongue-tie in babies include clicking sounds, requiring more feedings, falling asleep at the breast, biting down on nipple, trouble latching, and a struggle to gain weight. 

Red flags in toddlers, school-aged children, and teenagers include being messy eaters or picky eaters, pocketing food in their cheeks, an increase in oral sensitivities (hyperactive gag), stomachaches due to extra air in the stomach, taking a long time to complete a meal, and difficulty pronouncing certain sounds and letter combinations.

Listen in as Nicole Archambault Besson EdS, MS, joins Dr. Susanne to share more about what a tongue-tie is, as well as some of the warning signs you can be on the lookout for.