Have you ever heard of the terms lip tie and tongue tie? Although they sound similar, they are two different conditions that can affect your child’s development. Let’s take a closer look at what lip and tongue ties are, how to identify them, and how to treat them.
What Are Lip and Tongue Ties?
Lip tie is a condition in which the frenulum—the piece of tissue that connects the upper lip to the gum—is tight or short. This restricts the movement of the upper lip, making it difficult for babies to latch during breastfeeding. Alternatively, tongue tie occurs when the frenulum beneath the tongue is too short or tight, affecting its mobility. Babies with tongue ties may have difficulty latching onto their mother’s breast during feeding, nursing effectively, and even speaking clearly later on in life.
How To Identify Lip and Tongue Ties
Both lip ties and tongue ties can be identified by a trained pediatrician or lactation specialist in Flemington, NJ. During an examination, a doctor will ask your child to stick out their tongue or move their lips around in order to assess mobility. In addition, you may notice some telltale signs like difficulty latching during breastfeeding, poor suckling reflexes during feedings, gassiness after eating due to lack of suctioning power while eating (causing air bubbles), clicking noises while eating due to poor latch/suctioning power, poor weight gain despite adequate feedings offered (due to lack of calories being transferred from mother’s milk), colic-like symptoms from digestive discomfort caused by inadequate digestion of milk proteins due to shallow latch/suctioning power, etc.
How To Treat Lip and Tongue Ties
Fortunately for parents who suspect that their baby has either a lip tie or a tongue tie, there are effective treatments available! Treatment typically involves releasing the frenulum using laser technology or scissors; this procedure is known as a frenectomy. The procedure itself is quick and painless—and while it may take some time for your child’s mouth muscles to adjust after surgery—it generally leads to improved breastfeeding outcomes as well as better speech development down the road.
It’s important for parents to be aware of conditions like lip and tongue ties so that they can recognize signs early on. At Floss Boss Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Sanghavi and her team work closely with functional therapists, lactation consultants, speech therapists, and pediatricians prior to starting treatment to ensure your baby receives the best care possible. With early detection and proper treatment, you can ensure that your baby gets all of its nutritional needs met without any disruption! Schedule an appointment at our office in Flemington, NJ today.