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An estimated 10% of babies are born with a tongue-tie, which restricts the movement of the tongue. The frenulum is a thin tissue that tethers the tongue to the floor of the mouth. When the frenulum is too short, the tongue cannot move forward, up or sideways effectively. While some tongue-ties stretch with aging, it can affect infants trying to breastfeed. Here are some signs that can alert you to a tongue-tie in your breastfeeding infant.

Not Latching
One of the most common issues with infants who have a tongue-tie is that they struggle to latch onto the nipple. To latch properly, infants use their tongue to bring the nipple into the mouth and create the seal needed for suction. This function is more difficult for babies with a tongue-tie, as some can latch, while others cannot. The infant may use their gums to grab the nipple, which can cause painful issues for the mother.

Flattened or Cut Nipples
Mothers who are breastfeeding a baby with a tongue-tie can experience pain and discomfort. Their nipple may appear flattened and creased from the infant clamping on with their gums. Some may have cuts on their nipple.

Fussy, Irritable Baby
Infants with a tongue-tie may be fussy and cranky during feeding time. They may be frustrated with the effort to feed and be hungry. Constant crying, refusal to eat and sleep problems are all signs an infant may have a tongue-tie impacting their feeding. This fussing and refusal to eat can also result in longer feeding times.

Insufficient Weight Gain
Babies with a tongue-tie that is affecting their ability to breastfeed may not be gaining weight like he or she should. Growth can be slower since the baby is not receiving the necessary number of calories and nutrients. Babies with a tongue-tie may also have difficulty swallowing, causing them to spit-up more often and reducing their calorie intake further.

Treatment for Infants with a Tongue-Tie

A tongue-tie is not only a problem for breastfeeding infants. It can cause them issues when they start to speak and impact sleep, breathing and other health factors. Infants with a tongue-tie can be quickly treated with a laser that releases the tongue-tie. Infants can be treated without sedation and little to no pain. This minimally-invasive procedure can help your baby begin breastfeeding immediately after the procedure and could improve their overall health.

If your baby is exhibiting signs of a tongue-tie, come see us at South Carolina Tongue Tie Center. We are the local tongue-tie specialists who offer safe, quick laser surgery for infants, kids and adults with 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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