Ankyloglossia, also known as tongue-tie, is a congenital oral condition characterised by a short, thickened, or abnormally tight lingual frenulum.
This anomaly can cause varying degrees of reduced tongue mobility, and has been associated with functional limitations including atypical swallowing, speech articulation problems, mechanical problems such as the inability to clean the oral cavity, and psychosocial stress.
In many cases, ankyloglossia can be resolved through surgical procedures; however, it should also be noted that, despite the reduced length of the lingual frenulum, in many cases the elasticity of the mouth floor may allow normal tongue mobility, avoiding frenectomy.
Tongue-tie also affects breastfeeding in infants, making a natural act a difficult and sometimes impossible task, and much has been published on this topic.
However, renewed interest in breastfeeding has brought to light many problems and challenges concerning infant feeding, and statistics indicated mothers’ renewed preference for breastfeeding; thus considerable fresh data is now accumulating.
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Mothers and infants may experience a variety of difficulties in mastering breastfeeding: a breastfeeding mother may experience sore nipples, blocked ducts, nipple and breast infection, and signs of low milk supply.
Infants may be unable to transfer milk adequately, in part due to their inability to maintain an effective latch and seal onto the breast.
These infants sleep badly and gain inadequate weight, sometimes being diagnosed as “failure to thrive”. Anatomical factors, such as tongue-ties and frenulum/lip-ties, should be carefully considered as primary factors in creating breastfeeding difficulties.
° R. Crippa / M. Paglia / F. Ferrante / A. Ottonello / F. Angiero
° European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry vol. 17/3-2016
° Photo : The Dental Arcade - Blog