What is Tongue Tie?
Tongue tie is a string of tissue that attaches to the bottom of the mouth from the tongue. It can be picked up in a routine new born examination, although at this point it is very hard to diagnosis given the size of the baby and how wide baby opens its mouth.
What are the signs of a Tongue Tie?
Breast feeding for baby:
• Difficulty latching on
• Becoming tired half way through, thus irritable
• Clicking sound when feeding
Breast feeding for mum:
• Tends to be painful
• Can result in cracked or sore nipples
• You seem to have a low milk supply
• May result in Mastitis
Baby Mouth and Tongue:
• There may be an appearance of septum from the tongue to floor mouth
• Difficulty moving their tongue up or down
• Difficulty sticking their tongue out
• Their tongue is heart shaped
• Their tongue maybe white – with flattened down milk
• May not be gaining weight
Who can diagnosis a Tongue Tie?
Both diagnosis and assessment of a tongue tie can be made by informed and qualified professionals: New Born specialist in hospital, Midwife, Nurse, Lactation specialist, Breast feeding specialist and Osteopath
What can a cranial Osteopath do?
The tongue is a complex structure consisting of extrinsic and intrinsic muscles. A new born or infant tends to use the extrinsic muscles for the co-coordinative activity of sucking. The extrinsic muscles has bony attachment to the mandible temporal bone and hyoid. Movement of the tongue depends on how these structures work together. In an infant or new born the hyoid lie between the arch of the mandible, level with the submental muscles and are closely influenced by the muscles of the throat.
Many other cranial issues can cause the tongue not to protrude.
• Birth related trauma causing asymmetry of the position of the shoulder or clavicle hence effecting the omohyoid or sternohypoid position; this could result in lateral and inferior displacement of the hyoid bone compromising the biomechanics of the tongue.
• Tightness of the back of the head, causing a compromise/ irritating of glossopharyngeal nerve or hypoglossal nerve (nerve supplying the tongue.
• Irritation of the glossopharyngeal, vagus spinal accessory nerves as they pass the jugular foremen may compromise the sucking and swallowing process.