Dr Dean Gersun is a highly qualified Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist and Head and Neck Surgeon. Dr Gersun works closely with many midwives and lactation consultants around Johannesburg, diagnosing and treating pediatric tongue tie’s.
What is a Tongue Tie?
The lingual frenum is the cord that stretches from under the tongue to the floor of the mouth. A Tongue tie or short frenum are the terms used when the lingual frenum is short and restricts the mobility of the tongue. When the frenum is normal, it is elastic and does not interfere with the movements of the tongue while sucking, eating and speaking. When it is short, thick, tight or broad it has an adverse effect on feeding and speech.
Does my child have a Tongue Tie?
Factors which may lead one to suspect an infant has a tongue tie include:
For a mother:
- Pain, nipple injury, blocked ducts or mastitis during breastfeeding.
For an infant:
- Low weight gain, vomiting and gagging .
- Lack of lingual mobility which affects speed and accuracy of tongue movements.
- Eating difficulties caused by poor coordination of oral musculature.
- Dribbling – which is prolonged.
For a toddler:
- Speech which is unclear due to several aspects, especially coordination.
For instance, if your baby is struggling to latch properly, or swallowing a lot of air while feeding, there is a possibility that he/she has a tongue tie.
What should I do?
Should you suspect that your child has a tongue tie, make an appointment ASAP with Dr Dean Gersun.