Tongue/lip tie clinic
Tongue and lip ties in infants
What is a tongue tie and a lip tie?
A tongue tie (or ankyglossia ) is mucosal tissue under the tongue which restricts the movement of the tongue. The tongue should have free unrestricted movement, especially in its ability to elevate in the middle, for efficient feeding.
A lip tie (or restrictive upper frenum) is tissue that attaches the upper lip to the gums above the upper front teeth. In babies this can affect the flange of the upper lip to create a good seal during breast feeding.
What are the issues if my child has a tongue tie or lip tie?
In infants a tongue tie can cause problems such as:
- Poor latch or inability to stay latched
- Clicking when feeding
- Reflux symptoms
- Low weight gain.
- Falling asleep at the breast
Mothers can experience:
- Nipple damage/pain
- Recurrent blocked ducts or mastitis due to ineffective milk removal
- Low milk supply
Optimum function and posture of the tongue and lips are important throughout life for:
1. Efficient breastfeeding
2. Efficient chewing, swallowing, oral hygiene
3. Speech articulation, projection and efficiency
4. Optimum facial and jaw growth and development
5. Airway and Posture
Tongue function is optimized when it is free to move in all directions. When tongue movement is restricted, compensations occur in surrounding muscles and structures.
In our clinic, Tongue tie and/or lip ties are released safely and effectively using either scissors or the Waterlase (Er:YSGG) laser. Our paediatric dentist will determine the most suitable method of release and discuss the care required. Recent research has also shown that pre- and post-op care with a lactation consultant is critical in helping you and your baby optimise the outcomes of your feeding journey. If you and your baby are not under the care of a lactation consultant, we can arrange for our international board certified lactation consultant to be present before and after the release to optimise and improve your feeding experience.