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What are lip and tongue ties?

Ankyloglossia, also known as tongue tie, is a congenital condition that can affect infants and children due to having a short lingual frenulum that restricts tongue movement and impacts the function of the tongue. The incidence oftongue tie affects at least 4%-10% of infants and is most commonly diagnosed in males. Around 50% of infants with ankyloglossia experience feeding difficulties because of the condition.

There is also such a thing as a lip tie. Babies who have lip ties almost always also have tongue ties. Lip and tongue ties can affect a babies’ ability to breastfeed, or even take a bottle or a pacifier. They can also affect an older child’s ability to chew, swallow, breathe, and speak. Lip and tongue ties can also have other serious health effects.

Tongues and lips are only considered tied if their movement is restricted thereby impairing mobility and function.

There has been a tremendous amount of new information from research studies in the last ten year about lip and tongue ties and their affects on breastfeeding, breathing, eating, chewing, swallowing, speech, and even sleep.

What are some lip and tongue tie symptoms?

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Difficulty breathing during feeding
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Chronic Reflux
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Acting extremely fatigued by nursing
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Making a clicking sound while nursing
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Shallow or poor latch
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Colic
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Slow weight gain or lack of weight gain
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Falling asleep often during nursing
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Feeding briefly many times a day
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Taking more than 30 minutes to nurse

What are lip and tongue tie symptoms that a mother may feel while nursing?

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Pain during or after breastfeeding
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Fatigue from breastfeeding constantly even though your child never seems to be full
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Feeling frustrated
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A lipstick-shaped nipple
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Breasts that feel engorged even right after nursing
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Blocked milk ducts or mastitis
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Feeling like breastfeeding is a full time job

Treating tongue and lip ties

If you suspect that your baby or child has a lip or tongue tie, you will want to get it evaluated. A Speech Language Pathologist trained in Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMD’s) can help. Speech Language Pathologists trained in OMD’s can treat lip and tongue ties with exercises and follow up treatment after surgery. SLP’s can also help to establish and re-establish muscle patterns affected by lip and tongue ties.

After a diagnosis has been made, there are multiple treatment options for families to consider. Treatment options include a SLP, IBCLC (lactation consultant), Bodyworker (Craniosacral Therapy) and/or surgery via a Dentist.

New Beginnings has Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy at both locations. When you call to make an appointment, please tell the Office Manager that you are interested in a Lip or Tongue Tie evaluation because this is a specialized service.

For questions or for an evaluation call one of our office locations:
(915) 855-0601 (East) or (915) 303-5177 (Far East)