What are lip and tongue ties, and how are they treated?Unfortunately, there isn’t a great deal of awareness surrounding tongue and lip ties. Which means many mums and babies are suffering through this condition without knowing there is a simple and effective fix. Thankfully, some practitioners are becoming increasingly more involved in the lactation period and helping mums through any difficulties they may come across.
What are tongue-ties and lip-ties?Tongue-ties and lip-ties happen when the fraenum (soft tissue attaching the lip and tongue to the gums) is too short or restricts the range of motion for the lip or tongue in some way. When this happens, babies are unable to latch on properly because they cannot form the correct mouth shape. They may also have trouble swallowing and breathing because the tongue plays a crucial part in the movement involved. Even from an early age, eating and speaking, or at least learning to make sounds, are key factors in important development milestones. As a result, these restrictions have the potential to severely affect the development of your child.
What are the symptoms of tongue-ties and lip-ties?While this condition may be difficult to diagnose for the untrained eye, there are some symptoms to look out for. These include:
- Colic or reflux in excess
- Difficulty latching
- A gassy baby
- Poor weight gain
- Discomfort or pain for the mother during feeding
- Sore, cracked or bleeding nipples
How do we diagnose tongue and lip ties?To diagnose whether the tongue-tie in your baby’s mouth restricts the movement negatively, we will undertake a straightforward physical exam. Our dentists will:
- Check your baby’s tongue and mouth, including areas like the front teeth, floor of the mouth, and the lower and upper lip
- Assess the mobility of the tongue
- Ask how feeding is progressing, and if there are any of the aforementioned signs or symptoms