Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



On the Tip of the Tongue

Esther Ilana Rabi

It’s a tiny strip of tissue, but it can have big ramifications. Babies whose tongues aren’t able to move freely can have trouble swallowing and be nearly unable to nurse. What is tongue-tie and how is it treated?

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Take a moment to pay attention to your tongue. Now swallow. Feel that wave-like motion? It touches the roof of your mouth at the front and then rolls backward, while the sides flatten and then curve up again. The tongue should be anchored to the floor of the mouth by a thin strip of tissue called the frenulum. But in 5 to 10 percent of newborns, the frenulum is either too wide or too short, keeping the tongue from being able to move freely — a condition called tongue-tie. The normal swallowing you just experienced would be impossible with a tongue-tie. The effects of tongue-tie on a nursing baby can be serious. “The tiny tongues of babies who are nursing have to be able to perform a complex type of sucking,” explains dentist Dr. Ari Greenspan (half of Mishpacha’s Ari and Ari duo). “A tongue-tie can hinder a baby’s efforts to move his tongue up, down, and out, which is what he needs to do in order to nurse.” Some babies also have an upper lip-tie, which means that the strip of skin under the upper lip is too short or too thick, pinning the lip to the upper gum. The baby can’t open his lip enough to create a good seal while nursing. Up to 80 percent of infants with untreated tongue- or lip-tie can’t gain enough weight by nursing.

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


 
Drink to Eternity
Rabbi Moshe Grylak Redemption doesn’t simply mean being let out of jail
Klal Yisrael Is Always Free
Yonoson Rosenblum "In that merit will Klal Yisrael continue to exist”
Home Free
Eytan Kobre My baseline for comparison is admittedly weak
Believe in Your Own Seder
Rabbi Judah Mischel Hashem is satisfied when we do our best
Picture Perfect
Yisroel Besser Take a picture — and this time, send it to yourself
Flying Solo
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman As Pesach loomed closer, his resentment was growing
Hanging on by a Hair
Jacob L. Freedman MD “Do you still think that I’m not completely crazy?”
A Song for Every Season
Riki Goldstein Influencers map out their personal musical soundtracks
Subliminal Speech
Faigy Peritzman The deeper the recognition, the deeper the effect
The Big Change
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Spelling things out clears clouds of resentment
The Count-Up
Mrs. Shani Mendlowitz Tap the middos of Sefirah to recreate yourself
The Baker: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP with Zivia Reischer "She can't get married if she can't build a relationship...
Know This: Infertility
As Told to Bracha Stein There was no place for me. I didn’t belong
Dear Shadchan
The Girl Here's the thing: I need time