If you’ve noticed your toddler struggling to breastfeed or making a clicking noise while nursing, they may suffer from a condition known as tongue or lip ties.
What is a tongue tie? A tongue tie is a condition that occurs at birth and hinders the free range of motion of the tongue. It is caused by a short, tight or thick strip of tissue, the frenulum, that ties the bottom of the tongue’s tip to the bottom of the mouth.
What is a lip tie? A lip tie occurs when a piece of tissue, known as the frenulum, behind the upper lip is too stiff or thick to the point where they restrict the free mobility of the lip.
Gep TOTS is a trusted dental clinic in Vaughan with highly trained doctors who specialize in upper lip tie treatments for toddlers and tongue tie releases without surgery. We use a soft tissue dental laser to correct this condition quickly with minimal discomfort for your child and fast recovery times!
Symptoms of Tongue Ties and Lip Ties
You will notice certain unmistakable symptoms that point to these conditions. If so, approach a professional dental clinic quickly to avoid further discomfort for your child.
For the Baby
- Struggling to latch onto the breast
- Difficulty drawing breath when nursing
- Emitting a clicking noise when nursing
- Falling asleep when nursing
- Becoming fatigued by nursing
- Very gradually gaining weight or not gaining weight
- Colic symptoms
For the Mother
- Inexplicable soreness during or after breastfeeding
- Enlarged breasts after breastfeeding
- Clogged milk ducts
- Fatigue from nursing as your toddler doesn’t seem to have its fill
Types of Tongue Ties and Lip Ties
These conditions can manifest in a couple of different ways.
Anterior Tongue Tie
The lingual frenulum attaches the underneath of the tongue’s tip to the base of the mouth causing decreased mobility in the tip of the tongue.
Posterior Tongue Tie
The tongue is concealed by the mucous lining of the mouth. This type of tie is not visible but you can feel it by running your finger against the underside of the tongue.
The maxillary connects the middle-upper lip to the gums, interfering with mobility and reducing the use of the upper lip.
Combination Tongue and Lip Tie
This is characterized by a combination of maxillary and lingual or posterior tongue ties, presenting obstacles when breastfeeding.
Diagnosis of Tongue Ties and Lip Ties
Any baby who is experiencing breastfeeding issues should be taken to a trained professional to undergo a feeding evaluation. Problems with the latch on usually point to the existence of a tongue or lip tie.
The doctor will assess the medical history of your child during the first appointment and perform a quick oral exam to check for this condition.
Treatment of Tongue and Lip Ties: Laser vs Scissors
As far as the treatment outcome is concerned using scissors is just as effective as a laser treatment to treat tongue or lip ties. The main difference is, with soft laser treatments, no anesthesia is required. Pain and bleeding are kept to a minimum, and hence, your baby isn’t put through unnecessary discomfort.
The soft tissue dental laser treatment is a simple procedure and your child will be able to return home after it’s done. The lasers emit therapeutic light that is absorbed by the body. It simultaneously destroys bacteria and promotes tissue regeneration. Because these lasers cauterize the wound as the penetrate, the chance of a bacterial infection is very slim.
We Perform Safe and Effective Tongue and Lip Tie Releases For Infants
At Gep TOTs, our highly trained dental care professionals can effectively diagnose and rehabilitate a tongue or lip tie in your infant. In most cases, these conditions go undiagnosed because they are not a regular part of the medical or dental curriculum. Opting for harsher surgical alternatives could lead to pain and discomfort.
If you suspect that your child has a tongue or lip tie, we strongly recommend bringing them in for a consultation.