What is a tongue tie?

A tongue tie occurs when the thin membrane under the baby’s tongue (the lingual frenulum) restricts the movement of the tongue. All babies are born with some tissue, but for some, the tissue is so tight that they cannot move their tongue freely. This can affect their ability to breastfeed and lead to poor latch, nipple pain and trauma, decreased milk intake and a decline in milk supply over time.

What is a lip tie?

Many babies with a tongue tie also have an abnormally tight membrane attaching their upper lip to their upper gums (the labial frenulum). This is called a lip tie. Babies with a lip tie often have difficulty flanging their lips properly to feed and can’t create a proper seal at the breast. This can cause them to take in excess air during breastfeeding, which often makes these babies gassy and fussy.

Signs and symptoms of lip and tongue tie:

Infants may exhibit:

  • Noisy suckling or clicking
  • Popping on and off the breast
  • Leaks on the sides of the mouth
  • Poor weight gain
  • Coughing or gagging
  • Lip blisters
  • Gas pain
  • Noisy breathing/snoring sounds when sleeping
  • Reflux or colic symptoms

Mothers may experience:

  • Flattened nipples after breastfeeding
  • Nipple pain and damage
  • Prolonged feedings
  • Poor breast drainage
  • Decreased milk production

Treatment

Tie revisions called frenectomies, remove the tissue or tight frenulum under the tongue or upper lip. Dr. Roberts uses a laser for a safe and quick procedure that allows for greater tongue and lip mobility. In some cases, frenectomies can aid in the prevention of other health problems like dental decay or spacing, speech difficulties, and digestive issues. Tie revisions can be done on older children as well.

If you have any questions and want to book a consultation with Dr. Roberts, click here.