LIP TIE AND TONGUE TIE RELEASE

WHAT IS A TONGUE OR LIP-TIE ?

A tongue-tie is an unusually short, thick or tight band of tissue (lingual frenulum) that tethers the bottom of the tongue’s tip to the floor of the mouth, limiting mobility. Likewise, an upper or lower lip-tie (labial frenulum) is a short, thick or tight band of tissue that tethers the upper or lower lip to the gums, limiting the lip’s ability to flare and curl.

Infants

Tongue-ties and lip-ties present in babies are serious and lead to many oral and health risks, and most often cause pain to the breastfeeding mother. Both mother and baby will typically demonstrate symptoms when baby has a tongue and/or lip-tie:

Baby’s symptoms:

  • Reflux, colic, or gassy
  • Difficulty latching; gumming or chewing nipples
  • Poor weight gain
  • Makes clicking noise while sucking
  • Excessive drooling
  • Choking on milk or popping off the breast to gasp for air

Mother’s symptoms:

  • Cracked, blistered, or bleeding nipples
  • Plugged ducts, thrush, or mastitis
  • Discomfort while nursing
  • Compromised milk supply
  • Sleep deprivation (as baby is not able to nurse efficiently, he may compensate by nursing more often, including at night.)
Children / Adults

Tongue-ties and lip-ties in children and adults are often overlooked conditions that can lead to a myriad of health problems, including speech issues, breathing issues, and complications with erupting permanent teeth. The problems associated with ties do not improve with time, but rather result in even more challenges.  These problems can impact everything from oral/dental health to social situations and self-esteem.

Children/Adolescents with untreated tongue or lip-ties may experience:

  • Inability to chew age appropriate solid food
  • Gagging, choking, vomiting, drooling
  • Delayed speech development
  • Dental health problems
  • Insufficient development of the palate (narrow archway, etc.)
  • Behavior problems
  • Formation of habits to compensate for tied tongue/lip
  • Sleep disturbances

Adults with untreated tongue or lip-ties may experience:

  • Speech impairment (inability to speak clearly, unable to pronounce certain sounds, etc.)
  • Pain, clicking, popping in the jaws
  • Migraines/Headaches
  • Protrusion of lower jaw
  • Dental health problems (inflamed gums, increased need for fillings, etc.)
  • Difficulty keeping denture in place
  • Embarrassment of appearance and speech
  • Sleep disordered breathing/sleep apnea
Treating Tongue-ties and lip-ties

Dr. Schindler utilizes a CO2 laser called the Light Scalpel that quickly severs the tissue, making the procedure and recovery faster and more comfortable than “clipping” the tie. Once the release is complete, if the child is currently breastfed, the doctor and assistant will ask the mother to breastfeed before leaving the office. Patients receive a thorough explanation of post-op instructions and a list of recommendations to take home, including the protocol of intra-oral exercises that are recommended to be done.

MULTIDISCIPLINARY CARE

For infants, it is strongly recommended to see a Craniosacral Therapist both before and after a tongue-tie or lip-tie procedure. At our office, Jackie Lowe is available and is trained in CST and lactation counseling, to help aid both baby and mother in breastfeeding after the ties are released.

For children and adults, it is strongly recommended to see a speech therapist who is also certified in Orafacial Myology, both before and after a tongue-tie or lip-tie procedure. At our office, Kaye Baumgardner is available and is trained to help patients after the ties are released.

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