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Social media has been populated with stories about tongue-tied infants and the woes associated with this condition for mother and child. This interest has caused a dramatic rise in treatment for the condition. There are different definitions for tongue tie, or ankyloglossia (AG). There are basically two classifications for it. One is anterior and the other is posterior. Type 1 and Type 2 are under the anterior classification and Type 3 and Type 4 are under the posterior classification.

Statistics for newborns put the incidence for tongue-tie at 4% – 11%. These stats only include those babies born in a hospital setting. The statistics are much lower for children who are 6 years old or older, only between 2% and 3%. The United States saw a tenfold increase in diagnosis for ankyloglossia for hospital births over a fifteen-year period.

This large increase is not due so much to an increase in the condition but rather an increase in the awareness of it. With the majority of mothers bottle-feeding their infants in the past, the condition was not so noticeable in infants. As the trend shifted back toward breastfeeding, the issues associated with AG were more prominent. Consequently, there has been more diagnosing and treatment of it.

Breastfeeding Technique and AG

Feeding a baby from a bottle is not the same as nursing. Proper technique is required for successful breastfeeding. The nipple must hit the roof of the infant’s mouth so a vacuum can be created. The milk is then sucked out of the breast. Compression of the nipple squeezes out the milk, but this is not proper technique and can lead to discomfort. The baby’s tongue must be fully underneath the nipple to suck and draw out the milk. AG prevents this from happening.

A tongue-tied infant has a much more challenging time feeding from the breast, making a mother’s experience painful and sometimes resulting in damaged nipples. Poor milk supply and failure to thrive are also associated with the condition. This often leads to mothers switching from nursing to bottle feeding their infant.

In the great scheme of things, AG may not be all that common; however, for those infants and mothers affected by it, tongue-tie can be a frustrating and painful condition. At South Carolina Tongue Tie, we properly diagnose and treat the condition so mothers and infants can thrive. Contact us for a consultation appointment if you believe your infant is suffering from tongue-tie.

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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