Lip-tie and tongue-tie are conditions that affect many infants and children. They can cause various issues with breastfeeding, speech development, and even dental health.
Many parents are unaware of these conditions or how they can affect their child’s health. This blog post will discuss everything parents need to know about lip-tie and tongue-tie in children and the importance of early intervention and treatment.
What Is Lip-Tie?
Lip-tie is when the frenulum of the upper lip is attached too tightly to the gums, causing restricted movement.
Symptoms of lip-tie in infants may include:
- Difficulty breastfeeding or latching
- Distended or swollen upper lip after nursing
- Clicking sounds during breastfeeding
- Poor weight gain
- Excessive gas or colic
In older children, symptoms may include difficulty with eating, speech problems, and dental issues.
If left untreated, lip-tie can have long-term effects on dental health, as it can cause misalignment of the teeth and lead to a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease. In some cases, untreated lip-tie may also affect a child’s self-esteem and confidence due to cosmetic issues such as a gap between the front teeth or an uneven smile.
What Is Tongue-Tie?
Tongue-tie is when the lingual frenulum, the small piece of tissue that attaches the tongue to the bottom of the mouth, is too short or tight, restricting the movement of the tongue.
Babies with tongue-tie may display the following symptoms:
- Breastfeeding issues
- Poor weight gain
- Clicking sound during breastfeeding
- Inability to stick tongue out or lift it
In older children, symptoms may include speech issues, difficulty eating, and dental issues such as misaligned teeth or an overbite.
Tongue-tie can have long-term effects on dental health, as it can cause misalignment of the teeth and lead to a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease if left untreated. Untreated tongue tie can also affect a child’s speech development, causing difficulty with articulation and pronunciation.
Diagnosis and Treatment
A simple exam by your pediatrician will determine if your infant has a tongue or lip tie. The diagnosis may be made in older children by a pediatric dentist or by a speech therapist. They will assess the range of motion of the lip and tongue and the appearance of the frenulum. Not all lip-ties and tongue ties require surgical treatment.
A simple procedure called a frenectomy can correct lip-tie or tongue-tie. The frenum is cut or clipped using surgical scissors, a scalpel, or a soft tissue laser. The technique used will depend on your child’s age and the severity of the lip or tongue tie.
Life After Treatment
Healing is quick for infants, who may continue breastfeeding or bottle feeding immediately following the procedure. Older children may have mild discomfort or swelling, which typically resolves within a few days. Your dentist may instruct you to clean the area with an antibacterial mouthwash and use pain medication as needed. They may also recommend exercises to improve the range of motion.
The benefits of early intervention for lip-tie and tongue-tie include improved breastfeeding, speech, and dental development. Early intervention can also prevent potential long-term complications, such as dental decay, speech impediments, and feeding difficulties.
Future risks following treatment for lip-tie and tongue-tie to be aware of include bleeding, scarring, and infection. Following all aftercare instructions and attending all follow-up appointments can help reduce the risk of these complications.
Best Kids Dentist in Denver
Early intervention and treatment for lip-tie and tongue-tie are key to preventing more dental problems in the future. Our pediatric dentists are here to help, no matter your child’s needs.
If you are searching for a kid’s dentist in Denver or a kid’s dentist near me, contact Youth Dental and Vision at (303) 953-8801 or complete the online booking form. We look forward to helping you and your family with your dental needs!
To schedule an appointment at Aurora Youth Dental, call (303) 343-3133.
To schedule an appointment at Denver Youth Dental, call (303) 825-2295.
To schedule an appointment at Thornton Youth Dentistry, call (303) 280-8878.
To schedule an appointment at Hampden Youth Dentistry and Orthodontics, call (720) 826-3694.
Frequently Asked Questions
Observe for symptoms such as difficulty breastfeeding, poor weight gain, or a swollen upper lip after nursing. Consult a lactation consultant or pediatrician for a professional evaluation.
That depends on the severity of the condition and the symptoms. Lip-ties in infants are corrected as early as possible to improve feeding and prevent potential long-term complications. In older children and adults, correction can be done at any age, resulting in improved function and quality of life.
A tongue tie can lead to long-term complications such as speech impediments, dental decay, and feeding difficulties if left untreated.