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Who is Babies Tongues?, What happens to babies sticking out their tongues?

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Who is Babies Tongues?, What happens to babies sticking out their tongues?

Dentists and midwives in the United States have observed an increase in the practice of performing “tongue tie surgery” to assist with breastfeeding. This procedure, utilizing a laser to address excess tissue under the tongue or the connection between the lips and cheeks, was initially designed for cases where infants faced legitimate challenges in proper feeding. However, over the past two decades, it has gained popularity, with some asserting its preventive benefits for issues like sleep apnea and speech impediments. Critics express concern about the growing trend, suggesting that it might leave some infants unable to eat for extended periods, leading to malnourishment.

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The surge in surgeries has raised eyebrows, with some medical professionals cautioning that the procedure could pose risks, including potential airway obstruction in infants. The number of surgeries witnessed an 800% increase between 1997 and 2012, and Google searches for “tongue tie” reached a record high in June, indicating a heightened interest in this practice. The trend appears to have gained momentum following a 2004 article suggesting a broader application of the surgery beyond cases involving a genuinely short or tight band of tissue in the tongue, raising concerns among critics about its potential overuse.

Dentists and midwives across the United States are increasingly performing “tongue tie surgery,” a procedure involving the use of lasers to remove excess tissue under a baby’s tongue or the webbing connecting lips and cheeks. Originally intended for cases where babies had a legitimate defect hindering proper feeding, the surgery has gained popularity in the last two decades, with some claiming it can prevent future issues like sleep apnea and speech impediments. However, critics argue that it has become a concerning trend, leaving some infants unable to eat for extended periods, leading to malnutrition.

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The surgery has faced backlash, with reports of babies experiencing difficulties in sucking or swallowing, and in severe cases, requiring feeding tubes. Some medical professionals warn that the procedure might even pose risks, such as blocking an infant’s airway with newly freed, floppy tongues. Google searches for “tongue tie” have spiked, doubling over the past five years.

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The surge in these surgeries began around 2004 when an article in the American Academy of Pediatrics’ newsletter suggested a broader application of the procedure, extending beyond the 4% to 11% of babies born with a genuinely short, thick, or tight band of tissue tethering the tongue to the mouth’s floor. Critics argue that the trend raises concerns, labeling it as a potential “money grab,” emphasizing the need for caution and thorough evaluation before resorting to tongue tie surgery.

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