A tongue tie occurs when the tissue (the frenulum) that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth is short, thick or tight, which can restrict movement and limit function. Similarly, lip ties cause the lips to be closely tethered to the gums. When these ties affect function, tongue and lip releases also known as frenectomies) can be an effective treatment option. Most commonly, these releases are done for infants and children who have difficulties with breastfeeding, transitioning to solid foods, speech, sleeping, and breathing.
At Sunshine Smiles, we use advanced laser technologies for our tongue and lip tie procedures. This allows for the releases to occur quickly, precisely, and with very little discomfort.
Breastfeeding and nursing mothers
Tongue and lip tie related symptoms often first appear during breastfeeding. Difficulty with latching, excessive gas or burps, long feedings, reflux/colic, fussing/fighting at the breast, and tucking of the upper lip are some of the more common symptoms. The mother may also experience painful latches and nipple soreness, loss of milk supply, and feelings of failure.
Transition to solid foods
You may also notice symptoms of tongue and lip ties when your child is transitioning to solid foods. Some of the more common signs include slow eating, picky about food textures, difficulty swallowing food, choking, gagging, or spitting out food.
Difficulties with speech
If your child is experiencing difficulties with speech, this also could be related to a possible tongue tie. This can result in the inability to articulate certain sounds (- l, r, t, d, n, th, sh, and z), stick the tongue out past the upper gums, or touch the roof of the mouth with the tongue.
Tongue ties can also impact oral and facial development, which in turn can affect the development and function of the airway. These symptoms can present as mouth breathing, snoring, altered palate development, and disproportionate growth of the lower jaw among others.
If you are seeing any of these symptoms, please contact us to discuss how we can help. We will work together with you and your other providers such as lactation consultants, physical therapists, and speech pathologists to create a treatment plan for your child.