How a Lip and Tongue Tie Can Affect Your Baby’s Health?

How a Lip and Tongue Tie Can Affect Your Baby's Health?

Are you experiencing discomfort while breastfeeding your baby? There are chances that your baby might have a lip or tongue tie. Tongue and lip ties are conditions caused by malformed oral tissues. Tongue ties occur when the membrane that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth (lingual frenulum) is relatively short or thick.
Tongue or lip ties are present at birth and restrict the tongue’s range of motion and also interfere with breastfeeding. Babies with tongue ties also have difficulty sticking out their tongues, which affects the way they speak, eat, or swallow.

Both of these conditions usually run in families and are comparatively more common in boys than girls. They are also linked with high-arched palates that severely affect your baby’s teeth alignment.

Tongue or lip ties can greatly affect a baby’s oral development. Therefore, assessing the early signs and providing in-time treatments is necessary.

1. They Restrict The Mobility of the Tongue and Upper Lip Muscles:

Lip or tongue ties limit tongue movement, allowing it to move slightly at the front and sides. The tongue cannot even feely go up and back and has difficulty latching on. As a result, during nursing, your baby’s upper lip doesn’t properly flange out over the breast and the baby slides off easily.

2. They Affect Your Child’s Breastfeeding:

Lip ties restrict your baby’s ability to move the tongue. This makes it difficult for them to fully grasp the nipple during breastfeeding. As a result, they have to suckle harder, which can create discomfort and pain for mothers as well. When babies find difficulty feeding, they often use their hands or pull the nipple toward them. Still, there is too little milk transfer that does not even empty the breasts.

3. They Can Result in Speech Problems:

Lip and tongue ties also result in speech difficulties. Children who do not get proper and prompt treatments eventually develop various problems while creating sounds that need the tongue or tongue tip to touch the palate. These are usually the t, d, n, l, s and z sounds. However, there are several treatment options available that can correct these issues.

4. They Might Cause Orthodontic Issues:

Such issues ultimately create large gaps between your child’s front teeth. Lip or tongue ties also contribute to a malformed and high arch palate. That can negatively impact your child’s teeth alignment and bite as they grow up.
Leaving this issue unaddressed can further complicate your child’s oral health. Therefore, you need to get them resolved promptly in order to prevent or alleviate all of these issues.

Lip and Tongue Tie Complications:

Babies with a severe tongue or lip tie are usually underweight as compared to other children of their age. They also need different supplements for feeding. Parents have to give them formula milk or feed them breast milk from a bottle to fulfill their nourishment requirements.
Babies having severe lip or tongue ties may also find difficulties while eating from a spoon or their hand. Moreover, untreated lip ties can also lead to a higher likelihood of tooth decay.

Problems That Mothers Usually Experience:

Besides the aforementioned complications, breastfeeding mothers can also face multiple problems if their baby has a lip or tongue tie.

Treatment Options:

Medical specialists usually say that sometimes, the frenulum can loosen over time and naturally improve the symptoms of the lip of tongue ties. Therefore, you should wait before acquiring any treatment procedure.

However, if it does not show any improvements, treatments become necessary. There are multiple treatment options that you can go for. Surgical intervention is usually needed for infants, children or adults if tongue or lip results in severe problems. These procedures usually include frenectomy or frenuloplasty.

1. Frenotomy:

It is a simple surgical procedure that doctors can perform with or without the need for anesthesia in their office. During frenotomy, doctors usually assess the lingual frenulum of your baby and then use sterile tools to cut this tissue. This procedure requires a short time and is quite painless. This is because the lingual frenulum has a few blood vessels.
In case, any bleeding occurs, it’s likely to be very minimal, mostly a few drops. Moreover, babies can breastfeed right after the completion of this procedure. Complications after getting a frenotomy are quite occasional but can result in infection or damage to the salivary glands.

2. Frenuloplasty:

Frenuloplasty is a more extensive procedure that is usually recommended if the lingual frenulum is too thick. It repairs severe lip and tongue tie issues and is usually performed under general anesthesia.
During the procedure, doctors release the frenulum with the help of surgical tools. Afterward, they seal the wound with sutures that usually absorb on their own as the tongue recovers. Complications of a frenuloplasty usually include scarring, bleeding, infection, or damage to salivary glands. But they are rare to occur.

When to See a Doctor:

You need to consult your child’s pediatrician immediately if you notice any of the following issues:
Usually, lip and tongue ties are not that dangerous for babies as long as they attain a healthy body weight. And once diagnosed, they are quite easy to fix. Sometimes, these issues can also resolve on their own as the child grows. However, it is still very important to properly assess your baby’s symptoms and acquire medical help if needed.


A lip or tongue tie can make nursing extremely challenging and create weight management issues in toddlers and newborn babies. But such conditions are quite easy to diagnose and treat, as there are numerous treatment options available.

Always remember that breastfeeding shouldn’t be an uncomfortable or painful experience for you. Therefore, if you feel any discomfort while feeding your child, speak with your child’s pediatrician immediately.

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