Breastfeeding and How it is Affected by Tongue Ties

There are various reasons as to why your baby is failing to breastfeed. Sometimes it is due to anatomical reasons such as tongue and lip ties that are preventing the baby from latching appropriately.

Firstly, tongue and lip ties prevent a baby from opening his or her mouth widely enough, and thus will result in the baby not latching onto the nipple properly and possibly chewing on it. Additionally, due to the tension caused by the short frenum the tongue is unable to protrude horizontally past the gum ridge/lips and thus it unable to protect the nipple from injury. This will cause severe pain and discomfort for the mother. You may also notice that milk is dribbling from the mouth while the baby is sucking. This is due to the baby’s inability to make a good seal around the breast with his/her lips. This can sometimes also be caused by the presence of a lip tie, which limits the mobility of the upper lip.

Inappropriate breastfeeding technique not only affects the mother, but it also affects the baby. The baby will not be receiving the required nutrient intake and thus will lead to weight loss.

To summarise, some signs and symptoms to look out for include:

  • Nipple damage: cracking, bruising, blistering, misshapen nipple after breastfeeding
  • Pain: most common symptom that a mother experiences. Painful breastfeeding is usually not normal.
  • Incomplete Breast Drainage: can be caused by various reasons which includes inability to draw enough negative intraoral pressure due to poor seal and inadequate use of tongue
  • Decrease in milk supply over time
  • Clicking sound while breast feeding (this is not always linked to tongue ties- perhaps you can consult a lactation nurse about the other reasons that cause this issue)

If you have any information or would like to book your child in for an examination please do not hesitate to contact us on (02) 9558 8988.

Pain Free Dentist Sydney: G01A, 570 New Canterbury Road, Hurlstone Park NSW 2193