Reviewed by Dr. Benjamin Foley, DDS

Welcome to the second blog in our series on lip and tongue ties. In our first blog, Understanding Lip and Tongue Ties, we discussed what they are, what causes them and symptoms to watch out for in babies and adults.  

In this blog, we will discuss how these conditions affect breastfeeding and oral health. We will talk about common breastfeeding challenges linked to ties, and provide a list of signs to watch out for. 

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

Lip and tongue ties can have a significant impact on breastfeeding, oral health, and overall well-being. Early detection and treatment are essential, especially in a newborn baby.  Signs to watch out for include difficulty latching, speech issues, and dental problems.

Breastfeeding Challenges Linked to Lip and Tongue Ties

Breastfeeding is a crucial phase for a newborn, providing vital nourishment necessary for their growth and development. However, lip and tongue ties can have a significant impact on breastfeeding and bottle feeding. 

The restricted range of motion in the lip and tongue can cause breastfeeding problems, such as:

  • Poor latch: The baby’s inability to open the mouth wide enough or adequately seal on the breast can lead to poor latch.
  • Nipple pain and damage: A shallow latch often results in severe nipple pain and damage because the baby is unable to suckle effectively.
  • Reduced milk supply: Inadequate stimulation of the milk ducts due to poor latch can lead to a reduction in milk supply.
  • Poor weight gain: Babies with untreated ties may experience poor or slow weight gain because they are not getting enough milk at each feeding.

Oral Development and Health Complications

Lip and tongue ties don’t just affect breastfeeding; they can have lasting implications on a child’s oral development and health.

  • Speech issues: Limited movement in the mouth can lead to speech issues, particularly with sounds that require tongue mobility.
  • Tooth decay and dental care: A restricted lip or tongue can make cleaning the teeth and gums difficult, increasing the risk of tooth decay. Also, a tight labial frenum can lead to gaps between teeth, making dental care more complicated.
  • Eating difficulties and oral function: Older children and adults with untreated ties might find it challenging to eat certain foods. The limited range of motion affects chewing and can impact oral function.

Signs to Watch Out For

Recognizing the telltale markers of lip and tongue ties is crucial for early diagnosis and treatment.

  • Difficulty latching or maintaining a latch during breastfeeding or bottle feeding.
  • Frequent breaks while nursing or long feeding times.
  • Nipple pain, damage, or blockages (such as milk blisters).
  • Gaps between front teeth.
  • Speech difficulties or delays.
  • Difficulty with certain foods or eating habits.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to consult a specialist for an evaluation. Your pediatric dentist or doctor can easily diagnose a tongue or lip tie.

Foley & Le – Oral Surgeons in Boulder, CO

Lip and tongue ties are common conditions that can have a significant impact on both infants and adults. Early detection and treatment can prevent potential complications, such as difficulties with breastfeeding, speech issues, and dental problems.

Our specialists at Foley & Le Oral Surgery are trained to treat lip, tongue and cheek ties using the latest techniques and technologies. If you or your child have been diagnosed with a tongue or tip tie, schedule a consultation with one of our skilled surgeons.

Call (303) 444-2255 to book an appointment or complete the online booking form. If you are searching for an ‘oral surgeon near me,’ or ‘frenectomy near me,’ trust Foley & Le Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

Our third blog in this series will cover the frenectomy procedure in detail, including its benefits and recovery process. We hope this comprehensive guide has provided valuable information about lip and tongue ties and their impact on health.

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