If your baby was born with a lip or Tongue tie, it can affect every aspect of his or her overall health. Lip or tongue tie can be interfering, causing nutritional issues, and as your child develops, these problems can interfere with speaking as well. Some common symptoms that may point to the infant being tongue/lip tied include: poor latch/inability to latch, sliding off the nipple, fatigue during feeds, sleepy feeds, poor weight gain, clicking during a feed, maternal nipple pain/damage (can feel like the infant is compressing, chewing, gumming, pinching, scrapping the nipple etc.), increased maternal nipple/breast infections, compromised maternal milk supply, dribbling milk at the breast/bottle issues(increased gassiness, reflux due to extra are being swallowed and poor control of the milk during a swallow) and various other feeding-related challenges. If left untreated in the young age, the child can also develop speech problems in the future.
Tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) is a condition present at birth that restricts the tongue's range of motion.
With tongue-tie, an unusually short, thick or tight band of tissue (lingual frenulum) tethers the bottom of the tongue's tip to the floor of the mouth, so it may interfere with breast-feeding. Someone who has tongue-tie might have difficulty sticking out his or her tongue. Tongue-tie can also affect the way a child eats, speaks and swallows.
Sometimes tongue-tie may not cause problems. Some cases may require a simple surgical procedure for correction.
The piece of tissue behind your upper lip is called the frenulum. When these membranes are too thick or too stiff, they can keep the upper lip from moving freely. This condition is called a lip tie.
Lip tie has not been studied as much as tongue tie, but treatments for lip ties and tongue ties are very similar. Tongue tie with lip tie can make breastfeeding difficult for babies, and in some cases, cause babies to have trouble gaining weight.
Lip tie isn't dangerous for babies, as long as they're gaining weight according to their pediatrician's guidelines. But lip tie, once diagnosed, is easy to correct.
Treatment of tongue-tie/lip-tie in an infant is simple, fast, and can easily be performed in our office. The baby is swaddled and the tongue is gently lifted up using fingers or a special instrument. The frenulum is then quickly snipped with sterile scissors or a laser. The tongue is then again gently lifted to ensure the frenulum has been completely clipped. The entire procedure takes less than 15 seconds and does not require anesthesia. The frenulum is very thin and has few nerves, meaning there is very little pain associated with the procedure. Baby can breastfeed immediately after the procedure, and mothers often notice improvement with the first feed.