Tongue and lip ties are the result of thick or malformed oral tissues. Tongue ties occur when the lingual frenulum (the membrane connecting the tongue to the floor of the mouth) is thick, short, or malformed. Here, the tongue's tip is attached to the floor of the mouth, thus restricting the regular movements of the tongue. Lip ties happen when the frenulum connecting the upper or lower lip to the gums is thick, short, or improperly formed, thus affecting the lip's mobility.
Lip Tie Symptoms
One of the most common and easily recognizable indications of the presence of lip and tongue tie in a child is the difficulty in breastfeeding. The symptoms include:
- difficulty to latch on to the mother's breast
- struggle breathing during feeding
- the child makes a clicking sound during nursing
- the child often falls asleep often while nursing
- the child becomes tired after nursing
- slow or lack of weight gain
- colic or gastric problems
And for the breastfeeding mother, this manifest as the following symptoms:
- pain on the breast during or after breastfeeding
- engorged breasts even after nursing
- blocked milk ducts or mastitis
- fatigue from breastfeeding
How Do Lip and Tongue Tie Affect The Baby's Nourishment?
A lip or tongue tie restricts the movement of a baby's lip or tongue, and this can impact their ability to breastfeed or eat. A baby with a lip or tongue tie will find it difficult to latch or swallow properly as their tongue cannot reach out far enough to latch onto the mother's breast. If the baby is unable to latch properly, the baby may not get enough milk, and this can lead to excessive weight loss. If they are unable to eat properly, the baby can suffer malnutrition.
When a tongue or lip tie can cause issues for breastfeeding, treating the tongue and lip tie at the earliest is recommended.
At Kusek Family & Implant Dentistry, Dr. Kusek has performed lip and tongue-tie procedures on over 1,000 infants and young children. A lip tie can be corrected with either a frenectomy or a simple snip. Both are minor procedures that can be performed in just a few minutes by your dentist.
A frenectomy is a simple procedure done by a dentist, oral surgeon, or periodontist. The procedure involves using a scalpel to release the tissue. A frenectomy involves the removal of a small section of tissue that attaches the upper lip to the gum tissue. This allows the lip and tongue to move more freely.
A snip is a simple snip of the tissue that connects the upper lip to the gum, which makes it easier to swallow and speak.
At Kusek Family & Implant Dentistry, we offer a full range of services, including cosmetic and implant dentistry in a relaxed dental environment. To learn more about our dental services or to schedule your consultation with one of our dentists, call us at 605-371-3443 or visit us at 4921 E. 26th St., Suite 1, Sioux Falls, SD 57110.