Ankyloglossia

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Ankyloglossia is also known as tongue-tie. It is a condition where your child's tongue does not move as freely as it should. The tongue is connected to the floor of the mouth by a thin piece of tissue called the frenulum. With ankyloglossia, your child's frenulum may be shorter, thicker, or tighter than it should be. Ankyloglossia can range from mild to severe depending on how much it decreases movement of the tongue.

INSTRUCTIONS:

Medicines:

  • Ibuprofen or acetaminophen: These medicines are given to decrease your child's pain and fever. They can be bought without a doctor's order. Ask how much medicine is safe to give your child, and how often to give it.

  • Give your child's medicine as directed: Call your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not helping or if he has side effects. Tell your child's healthcare provider if your child takes any vitamins, herbs, or other medicines. Keep a list of the medicines he takes. Include the amounts, and when and why he takes them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits.

  • Do not give aspirin to children under 18 years of age. Your child could develop Reye syndrome if he takes aspirin. Reye syndrome can cause life-threatening brain and liver damage. Check your child's medicine labels for aspirin, salicylates, or oil of wintergreen.

Follow up with your child's primary healthcare provider:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Activity:

Your child may be asked to do some tongue exercises for 1 month if he had surgery. The tongue exercises can help your child eat and speak normally. These exercises may also prevent your child's tongue from having scars. Ask your child's primary healthcare provider for more information about tongue exercises.

Contact your child's primary healthcare provider if:

  • Your baby is having problems with latching on to your breast during breastfeeding.

  • Your baby is not satisfied after feedings or you have severe nipple pain when breastfeeding.

  • You are concerned about whether your baby is getting enough breast milk or formula during feedings.

  • You find breastfeeding painful.

  • Your child has problems swallowing food, saying some words, or speaking.

  • Your child's tongue is bleeding or has pus or a foul-smelling odor.

  • Your child is starting to have the same problems as before or you notice new speech problems after his surgery.

  • You have questions about your child's condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • Your child is showing signs of dehydration from not feeding well. These signs may include urinating less than he should, crying without tears, or having dry, chapped lips. If your child is an infant, he may have a sunken fontanel (soft spot) on the top of his head.

  • Your child has bleeding from his stitches that is heavy, does not stop, or causes him to choke.

  • Your child has more problems with feeding or refuses to feed at all.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Ankyloglossia (Aftercare Instructions)

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