Imagine being a new mother, you just gave birth to a beautiful baby, but after closer inspection, you notice something is amiss. The doctor confirms that your baby suffers from ankyloglossia, more commonly known as tongue-tie. This medical condition occurs at birth when a baby is born with a tight piece of connective tissue under the tongue. This tissue restricts the tongue’s movement. Luckily, this condition is well known and treatable. Being tongue-tied may result in difficulty breastfeeding or swallowing.
Dawn Dahlgren-Roemmich, a certified nurse midwife, has worked with many tongue-tied babies. According to Dawn, only about 10 percent of babies are born with this problem. In the last 20 years, she’s cared for over 100 babies with ankyloglossia. Her second daughter was actually born with ankyloglossia.
“Typically, this condition is very treatable and doesn’t cause any long-term issues if dealt with right away. If the frenulum is not snipped it can cause speech ipediments later in life. This is the reason we chose to have our daughter’s snipped.” – Dawn Dahlgren-Roemmich
When Dawn works with a baby having trouble feeding, she looks at the frenulum. If she finds the frenulum is interfering with feeding, she recommends the baby have the frenulum clipped by a provider or ENT specialist. After the frenulum is snipped, she works with the parents to reteach the baby how to feed.
Tri-County Health Care has a diverse staff of medical professionals trained to detect this issue. From birthing services to chiropractic care, everyone is on the lookout for symptoms of tongue-tie. Carissa Mitchell, DC, has extensive knowledge of the muscle and bone structures of the human body. As a chiropractor, she is trained to observe and feel for problems affecting bodily alignment. She does see newborns and has had success detecting ankyloglossia. “I see many infants that have trouble latching or feeding and I focus on that. As a chiropractor, I’m not the person to diagnose a tongue-tie but rather check the musculoskeletal components and make sure they’re functioning properly,” explained Dr. Mitchell.
In some cases, extra tissue may not be causing restriction to the tongue. It could be an issue with the nerves and muscles associated with the tongue. A chiropractor can make adjustments to ease the tightness of the tongue, allowing for easier breastfeeding and swallowing.
Read more about this process in this article published by Andrew Dorough DC, CACCP.