Recognizing Tongue-Tie Signs in Babies and How to Handle Them

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Recognizing Tongue-Tie Signs in Babies and How to Handle Them
Recognizing Tongue-Tie Signs in Babies and How to Handle Them

If your little one seems fussy or has difficulty feeding, it could be a sign that he has a tongue disorder called tongue -tie. This condition needs to be addressed if it has caused the Little One to experience growth disorders due to difficulty breastfeeding.

Tongue-tie or ankyloglossia is a congenital malformation of the tongue due to the frenulum being too short, the connective tissue between the tongue and the floor of the mouth.

Recognize the Signs of Tongue-Tie in Babies and How to Handle It - Alodokter

Babies who have a tongue-tie don't always experience symptoms. If there are no symptoms or no problems for the baby, this condition is usually nothing to worry about.

Tongue-tie generally only causes problems if it causes the baby not to move his tongue freely, so that he experiences a lack of milk due to difficulty in breastfeeding. This condition can be detected through a newborn's he alth examination by a pediatrician.

Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Tongue-Tie Babies

Babies with tongue-tie may show some of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty lifting or moving the tongue. This can prevent the baby's tongue from attaching properly to the nipple while feeding.
  • Babies take a long time to feed, but seem hungry and fussy even after just feeding.
  • Babies make a tasting sound that resembles a “ckck” sound each time they feed.
  • The baby's tongue appears to have grooves at the tip, so it looks like a heart shape.

Sometimes tongue-tie also has an impact on nursing mothers. The baby's inability to suckle properly often causes the mother's nipples to blister or feel sore when breastfeeding the baby.

Tongue-Tie Types Based on Severity

Based on the size of the frenulum and its severity, tongue-tie is divided into several types, namely:

  • Type 1

    In a type 1 tongue-tie, the frenulum is thin and elastic, and sticks from the tip of the tongue to the top of the gum line.

  • Type 2

    In a type 2 tongue-tie, the frenulum is still elastic but is thicker than a type 1 tongue-tie. The frenulum is attached 2-4 mm at the back of the tip of the tongue to near the edge of the top of the gums.

  • Type 3

    In type 3 tongue-tie, the frenulum is thick and stiff, and sticks from the center of the tongue to the floor of the mouth.

  • Type 4

    In type 4 tongue-tie, the frenulum is located behind, near the base of the tongue, so it is not clearly visible. This type of tongue-tie can usually only be detected through a doctor's examination, namely when the doctor feels the frenulum.

If you realize that your little one has the signs of a tongue-tie baby described above, immediately consult a doctor. Especially if this condition has made him reluctant to eat or drink milk.

How to Handle Tongue-Tie

Treatment of tongue-tie babies depends on the severity of the condition. The following are some steps for handling the tune-tie:


If the tongue-tie is still mild and does not cause feeding problems, the doctor will usually only monitor the progress of the condition, to see if the tongue movement improves or not.

Usually, a mild tongue-tie will go away by itself when the baby is 6 months to 5 years old.

Frenotomy operation

Frenotomy is needed to treat a tongue-tie that is severe enough to make it difficult for the baby to suckle or move his tongue.

This is because a severe tongue-tie generally does not improve on its own and has the potential to cause the baby to experience growth problems due to difficulty breastfeeding. In addition, a frenotomy can also be done if a tongue-tie on a baby makes the mother feel pain when breastfeeding.

Frenotomy procedure is done by cutting the baby's frenulum using sterile scissors, scalpel, or laser. Frenotomy in infants generally does not require anesthesia because it is painless.

Although it is quite safe, the frenotomy procedure is still at risk of causing complications in the form of light bleeding, injury to the salivary glands, and infection. However, you don't need to worry, because this complication is rare and usually only mild.

By knowing what are the signs of a baby having a tongue-tie, you can be aware of this condition in your little one. Even though not all tongue-ties require treatment, you still need to check your little one to the doctor if he shows signs of a baby tongue-tie.

If not treated properly, a severe tongue-tie can not only make it difficult for the baby to suckle, but it can also interfere with the baby's oral he alth, and make it difficult to eat and talk later in life.

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