Everything you need to know about Lip and Tongue Ties

Everything you need to know about Lip and Tongue Ties

Jun 01, 2023

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

Causes of Lip and Tongue Ties

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.

Symptoms of Lip and Tongue Ties

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:

  • Lactation difficulties during breastfeeding
  • Inadequate weight gain
  • Feeding choking, gagging, or coughing
  • During feeding, there are clicks.
  • Drooling or dribbling in excess
  • Inability to extend the tongue beyond the lips
  • Difficulties with speech
  • Dental issues such as crooked teeth or decay

Complications of A Lip and Tongue Tie

Tongue-tie can impact a baby’s oral development and how they eat, speak, and swallow. Tongue-tie, for example, can result in:

  • Breastfeeding difficulties. A baby must keep their tongue over the lower gum while sucking while breastfeeding. If the baby cannot move or keep the tongue in the proper position, they may chew rather than suck on the nipple. This can cause severe nipple pain and interfere with a baby’s breastfeeding ability. Finally, inadequate breastfeeding can result in inadequate nutrition and failure to thrive.
  • Difficulties with speech. Tongue-tie can impair the ability to make certain sounds, including “t,” “d,” “z,” “s,” “th,” “r,” and “l.”
  • Oral hygiene is lacking. Tongue-tie can make removing food debris from the teeth difficult for an older child or adult. This can contribute to decay and gum inflammation (gingivitis). A tongue tie can also cause a gap or space to form between the two bottom front teeth.
  • Other oral activities pose challenges. Tongue-tie can make it difficult to lick an ice cream cone, lick one’s lips, kiss, or play a wind instrument.

How To Diagnose Lip and Tongue Ties

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.

Lip and Tongue Ties Treatment Options

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.

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