Signs Your Child Might Have Lip-Tie or Tongue-Tie
Watch for these symptoms in your baby:
- Difficulty latching while nursing
- Breastfeeding for long periods
- Milk leaking from the mouth while feeding
- Difficulty gaining weight
- Clicking sounds during nursing
- Constant hunger
- Heart-shaped tip of the tongue
Breastfeeding mothers might display some of their own symptoms including cracked or sore nipples, insufficient milk supply, mastitis, nipple damage, and pain during nursing.
As your baby grows into a young child, they may show different symptoms including:
- Swallowing difficulty
- Speech delay
- A strong gag reflex
- Inability to move the tongue in full range of motion
- Difficulty playing musical instruments
The sooner these symptoms are found, the sooner you can get your child the evaluation and treatment they may need. Otherwise, untreated tongue-tie can result in several health consequences.
In infants displaying these symptoms, evaluation by a lactation consultant is recommended. In older children exhibiting these symptoms, evaluation by a speech-language pathologist (SLP), feeding specialist, or orofacial myofunctional therapist (OMT) may be recommended.
Consequences of Untreated Lip-Ties and Tongue-Ties
Untreated lip-ties or tongue-ties can affect the health of your child through different ages in their life.
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing foods
- Delayed speech
- Loss of self-confidence because they speak differently
- Behavior problems
- Snoring or sleep apnea
- Difficulty with oral hygiene
Not treating tongue-tie at an early age can result in the need for a lot of medical intervention down the road from speech-language pathologists, psychologists, and especially dentists. Early treatment can prevent a wide array of both physical and mental health consequences. Tongue-ties and lip-ties are treated by a surgical procedure called a frenectomy where the restricted frenums are released.
At Cumberland Valley Pediatric Dentistry, we offer frenectomy procedures using the LightScalpel CO2 (carbon dioxide) laser which allows the procedure to be completed in a few seconds.