Tongue tie or lip tie is when the developing tongue or lip remains attached to other oral structures. This can be diagnosed by a healthcare provider that is qualified or trained in tongue tied assessment. Amey Clark, a board certified lactation consultant with Baby Moon Inn, says that many babies go undiagnosed, as this is not part of the newborn assessment at this point in time. She says that it can be missed in the hospital, as it's not always seen, because a provider needs to look at the function of the tongue, not just the appearance.
Dr. Brad Briggs, dentist with Briggs Family Dentistry in Scottsdale, Arizona, says that while many children go undiagnosed, the benefits of getting diagnosed and doing a simple procedure to free the tongue or lip is very beneficial to patients, as so many thigns are affected in development beyond the nutritional component. The palate is formed by the tongue and if the tongue is tied to the floor of the mouth, things like sleep apnea can occur later or teeth don't come in straight, says Dr. Briggs.
Clark says that the symptoms are with the newborn having difficulty breast feeding, the mom will report pain with breast feeding, the mom will feel a chomping or chewing sensation because the baby can't get the tongue out past the lip, milk leakage when the baby is feeding, the baby comes on and off because they can't keep a latch, which leads to a gassy and fussy baby.
If treatment is not sought out, this can lead to problems in adulthood, such as snoring and head and neck tension. The treatment of choice for Dr. Briggs is a simple laser procedure, that results in little tissue damage. Dr. Briggs says the treatment is so beneficial to both children and adults.
Dr. Briggs is a dentist with Briggs Family Dentistry in Scottsdale, Arizona. Amey Clark is a board certified lactation consultant with Baby Moon Inn. Dr. Briggs and Amey Clark spoke with Dentist News Newtork, providing online, on-demand dental video content.