What is a lip or tongue tie?

July 20, 2021

Tongue and lip ties occur when the string of soft tissue under the tongue or lip, called the frenum, is too tight, thick or short. Depending on the degree of the severity, infants and young children with a tongue or lip tie can experience a variety of symptoms, including trouble with feeding, speech and sleep. Keep reading to learn more about what tongue and lip ties are, signs to look for in your child, and when to consider seeking treatment. 

What are tongue and lip ties?

In the case of a tongue tie, also known as ankyloglossia, the frenum under the tongue, or the lingual frenum, is too tight, thick or short. This makes it more difficult to move the tongue.

A lip tie, on the other hand, happens when the labial frenum, the one that connects your lip to your mouth, is too tight, thick or short.  This makes it more difficult to move the lip.

What problems can occur with tongue and lip ties?

Tongue- and lip-tie symptoms can vary based on the degree of the severity. According to the Cleveland Clinic, a tongue- or lip-tie may cause the following issues for babies, young children and moms.

Baby

  • Poor latch during nursing
  • Poor weight gain
  • Frequent hunger
  • A clicking sound while feeding

Young Child

  • Speech impairments
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Problems sticking tongue out
  • Difficulty playing wind instruments

Mom

  • Pain while nursing
  • Sore cracked nipples 
  • Insufficient milk supply

Can a tongue and lip tie be repaired?

Yes! Releasing a tongue or lip tie is a relatively simple procedure that we can do right here in our practice with minimal discomfort or risk of complications. If you would like to schedule a consultation to learn more about the procedure, please contact us today.

KidzSmile Dentistry is a part of Mortenson Dental Partners.

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