Download the Tongue & Lip Tie Paperwork:  Doc
The significance of tongue and lip ties and why you should consider correcting them

Issues for Infant and Mother

Infant – poor latch may result in:                                             

  • Colic & excessive gassiness
  • Reflux
  • Difficulty with adequate milk intake
  • Poor weight gain
  • Falling asleep on the breast
  • Extended nursing episodes
  • Unable to sustain a latch
  • Unable to develop a deep enough latch
  • Unable to hold a pacifier
  • Early weaning from the breast

Mother- possible symptoms:

  • Difficulty or unable to breastfeed
  • Painful compression of nipples
  • Mastitis, engorgement, thrush
  • Vasospasm
  • Anxiety, stress & fatigue
  • Post-partum depression
  • Slow weight loss from pregnancy
  • Early cessation of lactation
  • Bleeding, cracked and flattened nipples
  • Low milk supply
  • Feelings of guilt

“Infant breastfeeding should not be considered as a lifestyle choice, but rather a basic health issue” – American Academy of Pediatrics

An infant’s inability to breastfeed often results in its mother giving up breastfeeding entirely as well as being told that the problem is their fault. In reality, the problems may actually result from the tongue and/or upper lip attachments to the rest of the oral structures in a way that is abnormal and makes normal function and mobility difficult or impossible. Many different variations and presentations of tongue and lip ties may occur. It is important to have a clinical exam and review of symptoms with a knowledgeable care provider.

Infant concerns when breastfeeding and mother’s milk is not available:

  • Reduced immunity to disease if mother’s milk is not used (pumping helps reduce this concern)
  • Increased risk of juvenile type diabetes and allergies
  • Increased risk of GI problems
  • Increased risk of certain cancers
  • Increased risk of heart disease
  • Increased risk of obesity as an adult
  • Possible Orthodontic problems and facial development
  • Increased risk of spinal development abnormalities
  • Possible Facial development abnormalities
  • Increased risk of SIDS

Concerns for infants when breastfeeding continues with lip and/or tongue issues:

  • Inability to sustain a latch and/or painful latch once upper front teeth erupt
  • Dental decay on upper front teeth when still nursing
  • If tissue cut due to injury, may bleed extensively

Potential problems as an adult:

  • Periodontal disease
  • Speech problems
  • Esthetic problems with smile lines
  • Poor oral hygiene

Diagnosis of tongue and lip ties is based on three factors:

  1. Anatomic & clinical appearance
  2. Infant’s and mother’s symptoms
  3. Ability to function

Advantages of Laser Surgery

Dr. Matt utilizes laser surgery for revisions in the office for the following reasons:

  • More precise surgery.
  • No need to place patient under sedation or to place in an operating room.
  • Procedure takes less than two minutes in the dental office within the treatment area.
  • Virtually no chance of infection.
  • Reduced post-surgical swelling, pain or discomfort.
  • Significantly reduces risk of any bleeding.
  • No chance of any allergic or drug reactions, just “laser light” energy used

If you think your infant may have a tongue or lip tie present, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Matt for a consultation.

Southern Indiana Pediatric Dentistry
Matthew L. Rasche, D.D.S., M.S.D.
828 Auto Mall Road, Bloomington, IN 47401
p. (812) 333 – KIDS (5437)

We would like to thank and acknowledge Greg Notestine, DDS & Lawrence A. Kotlow, DDS for contributing to the information in this section.