If you stand in front of the mirror and lift your lip, you will find a string of tissue between your gums and lips. Now, if you lift your Tongue up you will find a similar string of tissue running underneath your tongue. A similar string of tissue is also present beneath our cheeks.
This string of tissue is called FRENUM or FRENULUM.
It is present in everybody and its very normal for us to have it. But, sometimes due to developmental factors, we can be born with a frenum tissue which is unusally short, tight or thick. This condition is called Tongue- Tie or Lip Tie.
The presence of a tie restricts the muscle’s range of motion and function. This condition may be present right from birth. It can affect how we eat, speak, breathe, sleep and in babies can even interfere with Proper Breastfeeding.
How does a Tongue Tie look?
A Tongue Tie can never truly be diagnosed by seeing if the child can stick their tongue outside the mouth. Recent Evidence based approach says that a comprehensive functional evaluation is essential to make a correct diagnosis.
Symptoms of Tongue Tie based on Age:
In infants, presence of a Tongue Tie or a Lip tie can affect the whole Breastfeeding process.It is extremely important for the tongue to be moving freely both up, down and forwards in order for the baby to suckle and remove milk from the breast effectively.
The symptoms of a Tongue Tie or Lip Tie can be seen in both the mothers and the babies. Let’s have a look –
|Infant’s Symptoms||Mother’s Symptoms|
|⦁ Poor Latch/ Shallow Latch/Nipple Feeding||⦁ Pain while feeding/ Painful or sore nipples|
|⦁ Gumming/Chewing on the nipples||⦁ Bruised/ Cracked Nipples|
|⦁ Clicking sound while feeding||⦁ Poor Latch|
|⦁ Milk leaking from the corners of the mouth||⦁ Breast engorgement|
|⦁ Frequent hiccups/coughs||⦁ Mastitis|
|⦁ Gassy/colicky baby||⦁ Decreasing Milk Production|
|⦁ Poor weight gain|
|⦁ Feeling hungry often|
|⦁ Sleeping on breasts often|
|⦁ Slipping from the breast|
|⦁ Restless Sleep|
When to get a Tie treated?
If a Tie is detected early in the stage of infancy along with the apparent symptoms, it is BEST to get it resolved as early as possible to prevent any developmental issues as the child grows.
What happens if its left untreated ?
Leaving Tongue Tie or a Lip Tie untreated is like asking someone to learn walking with tied legs. Walking may still be possible but not as effectively as with free legs.
Untreated effects of Tongue Tie present itself like a DOMINO effect. The moment one pillar of development falls, it takes all the others along with it slowly. The very first pillar to fall is BREASTFEEDING.
As the child grows, it is possible that its effects may be seen in several areas too. Let’s go through that –
|Toddler symptoms||Children Symptoms|
|⦁ Bruised/Bleeding nipples||⦁ Speech Difficulties|
|⦁ Mastitis||⦁ Picky eater/Messy Eater/Slow Eater|
|⦁ Clicking sounds while feeding||⦁ Pouching food. One sided Chewing|
|⦁ Short Sleep episodes/ Restless Sleep||⦁ Frequent Cough, Cold, Allergies|
|⦁ Delayed Speech||⦁ Digestive Problems – refluxes, colic|
|⦁ Gags easily||⦁ Grinding teeth at night|
|⦁ Constipation||⦁ Restlessness & lack of attention|
|⦁ Food in faeces||⦁ Day Time Sleepiness|
|⦁ Difficulty in brushing upper teeth||⦁ Snoring|
|⦁ Snoring||⦁ Restless Sleep|
|⦁ Mouth Breathing||⦁ Bed wetting|
|⦁ Mouth Breathing while sleeping and/or at daytime|
|⦁ Forward Neck/Shoulder Posture|
|⦁ Lack of spacing between milk teeth|
|⦁ Crooked Teeth|
|⦁ Frequent cavities|
|⦁ Sleep Apnea|
|⦁ Mouth Breathing|
|⦁ Heavy/Loud breathing while asleep|
|⦁ Sleep Apnea|
|⦁ Clenching and grinding teeth at night|
|⦁ Slow eater or gulping down big chunks of food|
|⦁ Frequent need of liquids during meals|
|⦁ Shoulder or Neck Pain|
|⦁ Jaw Joint (TMJ) issues|
|⦁ Incorrect facial and Jaw development|
|⦁ Incorrect swallow or Tongue Thrusting|
|⦁ Crooked Teeth or Spacing between teeth|
|⦁ Deep palate or collapsed jaws|
|⦁ Deviated Nasal Septum/Nasal Polyps|
|⦁ Speech Issues|
|⦁ Digestive Issues – Gatsritis, Acid Reflux, IBS|
|⦁ Cardiovascular Issues|
|⦁ Metabolic disorders like Diabetes|
|⦁ Obstructive Sleep Apnea|
|⦁ Tightness in the chest|
|⦁ Pronated feet|
|⦁ Lower back pain|
|⦁ Frequent cavities|
|⦁ Mood disorders|
|⦁ Poor quality of life|
*** NOTICE How the Symptoms just keeps increasing with increasing age.
There are also other signs beyond just the appearance of the tongue, on the face and body, that only a well trained professional can assess. There are also several related issues stem from a tongue restriction that include the airway, posture, and sleep, which is why a comprehensive functional assessment of the tongue is essential.
However, NOTE : The above mentioned risks are examples of observed changes in infants, children and adults. NOT ALL TIES SHOW all the above mentioned risks. It takes an experienced provider to thoroughly investigate the tongue function and symptoms associated with each tie.
Treating a Tongue Tie
Treatment is advised after a thorough history taking, clinical examination and based on the severity of the condition. In our practice, we follow a multi-Disciplinary approach to treat the symptoms of Tongue Tie and the Tie itself.
Releasing a Tie (Tongue/Lip) may be advised only if required based on the symptoms and function. We follow the protocols of Functional Frenuloplasty to release tongue ties for infants, toddlers, children and adults. It is a precision based procedure, meaning, releasing only the extent of tissue required for maximal function and relief, not too much and not way too under. The success of our practice is based on complete and effective release of the tie along with the multi-disciplinary protocol that combines the work by Lactation Consultants, Bodywork, Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy and Sleep Coach for babies and toddlers. The presence of Breathing Practitioners, Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy, Physical Therapy to achieve a complete muscle-body balance before and after the release procedure.
While conventionally, CPAP is the mode of treatment of Sleep Apnea. However, current research has shown that since, Sleep issues are multi-factorial, hence a multi-disciplinary approach is the most best way to treat sleep issues which includes.
WE OFFER OUR ADVANCED TONGUE TIE PROTOCOL FOR :
At Oraface, We are proud to have a collaborative team of like-minded professionals to help You and your family have Sleep, Breathe and Smile better! The First and Exclusive in Gujarat!
** If You had questions reading this and felt the symptoms were relatable to you, Feel Free to book a consultation with us to know more about your health in a more holistic way.
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Oraface Dental Clinic – Airway-Centric Dental Clinic