Lip and tongue ties are relatively common infant and child conditions. They occur when the frenulum, a thin piece of tissue that connects the lip or tongue to the floor or roof of the mouth, becomes too tight or thick, causing difficulties with breastfeeding, speech, and oral hygiene
Although the exact causes of lip and tongue ties are unknown, research suggests that they may be genetic or the result of abnormal development during fetal development. According to some studies, environmental factors, such as exposure to certain medications during pregnancy, may also increase the risk of developing lip and tongue ties.
Lip and tongue ties can occur due to mouth trauma or injury, such as a forceps delivery during childbirth. Premature birth, low birth weight, and maternal smoking during pregnancy are all potential risk factors for lip and tongue ties.
It’s important to note that, contrary to popular belief, lip and tongue ties are not caused by poor breastfeeding techniques. While breastfeeding difficulties can be a sign of lip and tongue ties, the condition occurs at birth and is not caused by feeding practices.
Lip and tongue ties can cause various symptoms depending on the severity of the condition. Some of the most common symptoms of infant lip and tongue ties are:
Tongue-tie can impact a baby’s oral development and how they eat, speak, and swallow. Tongue-tie, for example, can result in:
A physical examination by a healthcare provider, such as a lactation consultant, pediatrician, or dentist, is usually required to diagnose lip and tongue ties. During the examination, the provider will assess the child’s ability to move their tongue and lip and the appearance of the frenulum. They may also conduct a feeding evaluation to see if the child has any feeding difficulties. Imaging tests, like an ultrasound or x-ray, may sometimes be required to confirm the diagnosis.
The treatment options for lip and tongue ties in Salt Lake City, Utah, are determined by the severity of the condition and the child’s symptoms. In some cases, no treatment is required, and the condition may resolve on its own as the child grows older.
Treatment may be required if the condition causes significant feeding or speech difficulties.A frenectomy, which involves cutting or releasing the frenulum to increase its range of motion, is one of the most common treatments for lip and tongue ties. The procedure, which can be done in a dentist’s office or clinic at Warm Family Dentistry, can be done with a scalpel, scissors, or laser.
Following the tongue tie surgery in Salt Lake City, Utah, it is critical to work with a lactation consultant or speech therapist to help the child properly use their newly released tongue or lip. Some children may benefit from feeding therapy or dental intervention to address any oral health issues caused by the lip or tongue tie.