Wellspring Pediatric Plastics has seen its fair share of babies, and one of the most common issues amongst newborns is restricted mouth movement. Essentially, baby’s mouth is unable to effectively feed due to limited mobility— and our culprit? The frenulum! 

Everyone has a frenulum attaching the tongue to the base of the mouth. The presence of a frenulum alone doesn’t indicate a tongue-tie; it’s simply part of your basic anatomy! However, we often run into issues if the frenulum is short, thick and restricts movement. 

Once this restricted movement affects feeding, then it’s in fact a true tongue tie. While only 5-10% of babies are born with a tongue-tie, the symptoms can feel overwhelming to both mom and baby alike. Common symptoms of tongue-tie can include difficulty latching, nipple pain, inefficient milk extraction, breast engorgement/mastitis, slowed weight gain, and premature cessation. In the future, it can affect articulation of certain sounds, dental hygiene, and even the ability to lick ice cream!

When it comes to tongue-ties, otherwise known as ankyloglossia, our providers are able to make a clinical diagnosis based upon evidence of symptoms, poor weight gain, and painful nursing. Once the frenulum is properly released, baby will be able to feed much more efficiently— a huge win for both mom and baby alike!

If you and your newborn are struggling with painful nursing, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our physicians at pediatrics@thewsps.com for a consultation!