The Connection Between Low Milk Supply and Tongue-Ties
Supply and demand help mothers produce enough milk to feed their baby. Because of this, new mothers worry when breastfeeding becomes difficult. “Why isn’t my baby transferring milk? Am I doing something wrong? Do I have enough milk?” These questions and others may cross their minds. Oftentimes, mothers consult with a lactation specialist or pediatrician but continue to struggle with breastfeeding.
There are a number of reasons why breastfeeding may be difficult. In fact, a baby with tongue-tie may struggle to nurse. However, the condition is often overlooked by parents and pediatricians. A baby with tongue-tie may have difficulty latching and transferring milk. In short, a mother’s milk supply relies on the baby’s ability to transfer the milk. Each successful transfer signals the brain to continue producing milk. Whereas, unsuccessful transfers tells the brain to slow down production. If tongue-tie is present, low milk supply is likely to occur and breastfeeding becomes challenging.
What is Tongue-Tie?
Tongue-tie occurs when the frenulum, or tissue found under the tongue, is too tight. This restricts tongue movement. As a result, the baby struggles to transfer milk. This may lead to malnutrition and poor weight gain. Below are the symptoms of infant tongue-tie.
- Difficult tongue movement
- Gasps for air during feedings
- Baby falls asleep while feeding before consuming enough milk
- Gas or hiccups after feeding
- Poor latching
- Leaks milk
- Smacking or clicking sounds during feedings
- Latches with gums
- Oral blisters
- Poor weight gain
- Gulps milk
- Inability to use a pacifier
- Prefers to be bottle fed
Left untreated, tongue-tie affects children and adults in the following ways:
- Teeth clenching
- Teeth grinding
- Sleep apnea
- Mouth breathing
- Difficulty chewing food
- Delayed speech
- Dental health issues
- Speech issues
- Narrow airways
- Difficulty sleeping
- Narrow palate
- Underbite or overbite
- Chronic asthma
- Neck, back, or jaw pain
Treating Tongue-Tie with CO2 Laser Therapy
Tongue-tie is treatable with CO2 Laser Therapy. This technologically advanced method is preferred among parents due to its many benefits. For example, CO2 Laser Therapy is quick and painless. The treatment consists of carbon dioxide evaporating the excess tissue. In just under a minute, the tongue is released. Also, the laser sterilizes the area with minimal blood loss. Most babies are able to breastfeed immediately after treatment.
Learn More About Tongue-Tie
As mentioned earlier, breastfeeding can be more challenging for some than others. However, learning why your baby is not properly nursing is important. Consider all possibilities before resorting to the bottle. Likewise, consult with a tongue-tie specialist. Please keep in mind that some tongue-ties are more obvious than others. If your baby is demonstrating any of the symptoms, we encourage you to seek consultation.
At Lexington Smile Studio, Dr. Fawn Rosenberg has been treating tongue-ties with Laser Therapy for more than 20 years. Parents may contact her at (781) 861-SMILE or book an appointment onlineat www.LexingtonSmileStudio.com. We are located at 922 Waltham St #202, Lexington, MA 02421. Our office happily accepts new patients and most insurances. We look forward to meeting you.
About Fawn Rosenberg, DMD, FAGD
Dr. Fawn Rosenberg graduated from Tufts School of Dental Medicine in 1985 and received her Fellowship from the Academy of General Dentistry in 1990. Since then, Dr. Rosenberg has been using a variety of lasers in dentistry for more than 20 years. Her credentials have been recognized at Brigham and Women’s Hospital along with Tufts, Boston, and Harvard universities, where she previously held staff appointments.
Dr. Rosenberg is devoted to continuing her education while participating in dental organizations. She is an active member of the Massachusetts Dental Society, Academy of General Dentistry, American Dental Association, Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, International Affiliation of Tongue-Tie Professionals and International Consortium of Oral Ankylofrenula Professionals.