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Mom and Baby

When the connective tissue that tethers the tongue to the floor of the mouth restricts movement of the tongue, the condition is called ankyloglossia or, more commonly, tongue-tie. In many cases, this condition is discovered in infancy due to the problems it causes, especially with mothers who choose to breastfeed their baby.

Problems for the Nursing Infant

The tongue tie condition can range from barely noticeable to severe. When a baby is fussy at feeding time and breastfeeding is painful, checking for tongue-tie may be warranted. Diagnosing the problem early and correcting it can prevent feeding problems for babies who are breastfed and their mothers.

The tongue-tied infant may have a more difficult time feeding because latching onto the breast nipple is harder. The tongue is not able to move into the correct position for suckling due to the restriction caused by the band of tissue. Mothers may also notice the problem, since feeding sessions can be painful.

The baby is not able to draw the nipple and part of the areola into the mouth. Doing so creates a successful latch, as a seal is formed and milk is drawn out from the breast by the sucking motion. When the latch is unsuccessful, the baby may try to suck harder, which causes pain for mom; or if the baby is not able to latch on at all, she or he may give up altogether and eventually stop trying to nurse.

Early Diagnosis and Treatment

If you notice your baby is having trouble latching on for breastfeeding or the process is painful for you, have your child checked for tongue tie. Diagnosis is simple and treatment only takes a few minutes. A consultation with your baby’s doctor or a lactation consultant right away can put your mind at ease. A lactation specialist can make sure you are using the correct technique for breastfeeding your baby. This professional will also be able to rule out other issues that may be causing feeding problems.

You can also contact South Carolina Tongue Tie Center and schedule a consultation and examination with Dr. Caitlin McPherson. Dr. McPherson has extensive experience in treating tongue-tie and lip-tie in all ages. Do not let tongue-tie keep you and your baby from experiencing the special bonding breastfeeding provides.

Posted on behalf of South Carolina Tongue Tie Center

538 Savannah Hwy
Charleston, SC 29407

Phone: 843-654-0459


Monday - Thursday: 8am - 5pm
Friday: 8am - 2pm

Our Patient Reviews

South Carolina Tongue Tie Center

4.7 / 5.0

Based on 5 reviews

  • Talia H.

    Great experience with my visit to Dr. McPhearson and Carrie, hygienist. Dr. McPhearson is so patient, kind, and a perfectionist. She cares deeply that you have a great dental visit every time.

  • Maham A.

    I saw Dr. Caitlin McPherson and she is absolutely amazing. Not only does she make sure that everything is beautiful and functional, but she also treats every patient and their concerns with the utmost kindness.

  • Frankie W.

    Dr. McPherson is absolutely the best I highly recommend her and her team for all of your dental needs.

  • Phillip R.

    Everyone is so nice and they all seem to have good comradery. Mallory, Taylor, and Dr. Caitlin McPherson definitely know what they're doing!

  • Kyle A.

    The staff is always friendly & Dr McPherson does a great job every time!

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