Tongue Ties and Lip Ties
Tongue and lip ties can cause difficulties when breastfeeding and speaking, and can lead to speech impediments and other issues later in life. At Phi Dental Care, Dr. Lawrence Chong has a keen interest in diagnosing and treating tongue and lip ties.
If you think that your infant or toddler may have a tongue or lip tie, it’s easy to check for them on your own. Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can recognize if your baby may have one of these conditions:
What Are Tongue And Lip Ties?
To understand what you’re looking for, you must first understand the basics about tongue and lip ties. Medically, this condition is usually known as “Tethered Oral Tissue”. Tongue ties are also referred to as “Ankyloglossia”.
Tongue and lip ties are caused by thick or malformed oral tissues. Tongue ties are caused when the lingual frenulum (the membrane which connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth) is thick, short, or otherwise malformed.
Lip ties are, essentially, the same thing. This condition occurs when the frenulum which connects the upper or lower lip to the gums is thick, too short, or is otherwise improperly formed, causing mobility issues with the lips.
Checking For Tongue And Lip Ties
If you believe your baby may have one of these conditions, here are a few steps you can take to diagnose the issue.
Look for issues when nursing – Tongue and lip ties usually make it difficult for your child to latch properly onto the nipple when breastfeeding. Look for symptoms such as an inability to properly nurse, clicking noises while the baby is suckling, excessive drooling, poor weight gain, or “gumming” and chewing of the nipple when feeding. These are all potential signs of tongue and lip ties.
Your child’s tongue may also appear “short”, because they cannot stick it out properly, due to the excessive tissue.
Checking the lip is also quite simple. With your child in the same position, “flip” the upper or lower lip open, and feel for any resistance which could be caused by lip ties. Look at the small band of tissue that connects the lips to the gums. It should be quite thin and pliable. If it looks thick, it seems too short, or if the lip is difficult to move, lip ties may be present. Examine the tongue or lip – Lay your baby down on your knees, facing you. Run your finger under their tongue. Does this membrane feel short, strong, or excessively thick? A normal tongue will allow for a smooth and uninterrupted swipe underneath the frenulum.
Get a professional opinion – While examining your child for lip and tongue ties is a good place to start for a diagnosis, a professional examination from a qualified doctor like Dr. Lawrence Chong is required to determine the proper treatment method for your child. Come to Phi Dental Care right away for a diagnosis!
Know How To Recognize Tongue And Lip Ties
If your child is experiencing feeding difficulties, or has any of the other above symptoms of tongue and lip ties, come to Phi Dental Care and Dr. Lawrence Chong is an expert at working with babies and infants, and he can help diagnose and treat your child, to ensure that their tongue or lip ties are removed, and that they will be able to feed and speak normally.