How Do I Know If My Child Has a Tongue or Lip Tie? Everything You Need To Know!

Tongue and lip ties are common in infants and toddlers and they can cause many issues, some of which include: breastfeeding difficulties, failure to thrive, colic, and speech impediments. But how do you know if your child has a tongue or lip tie? How can you recognize them?

In this blog from Saginaw Kids Dentistry, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about tongue and lip ties in children.

What Are Tongue And Lip Ties?

Tongue and lip ties are related, but distinct oral health problems. Tongue ties occur when the lingual frenulum is too thick, which restricts the movement of your child’s tongue. The lingual frenulum is the band of tissue that attaches the tongue to the bottom of the mouth. If this frenum attachment is too thick, your child’s tongue may not be able to move properly, which can then cause issues such as breastfeeding, weight gain, oral development and oral health, and more.

Lip ties occur when the upper and/or lower lip frenula are too thick. Lip frenula are the bands of tissue that connect the lips to the gums. If you fold the center of your child's lips back, you may feel and see some restriction. These types of lip ties may restrict your child’s ability to move their lips properly, which can then lead to breastfeeding or bottle feeding issues. If this occurs, it is highly recommended to consult with Dr. Elias or Dr. Christina to take a closer look.

How Do I Check For Tongue Or Lip Ties?

Now that you know what tongue and lip ties are, let’s discuss how you can check for them. While it’s always best to see a board-certified pediatric dentist like Dr. Elias or Dr. Christina for a proper diagnosis, there are a few signs that you may be able to recognize.

Let’s start with tongue ties. A few of the most common signs of tongue ties include:

  • Difficulties lifting the tongue up to the upper teeth or difficulties moving the tongue side to side
  • A “heart-shaped” or notched tongue shape when your child sticks their tongue out
  • Problems sticking the tongue out beyond the lower front teeth

Both tongue and lip ties can cause issues when your child is feeding, too. Here are a few of the signs you may want to look out for when your child is feeding:

  • Infants having difficulty latching onto the breast or bottle to feed
  • Excessive crying or restlessness when feeding
  • Long feeding sessions, or your baby falling asleep regularly during feeding sessions
  • Excessive “gumming” of the nipple or bottle when feeding
  • Drooling or clicking noises when your baby is suckling

If left untreated, tongue and lip ties can cause poor weight gain (failure to thrive) in infants, and can lead to oral development problems or speech impediments later in your child’s life. For these reasons, it’s a good idea to see a pediatric dentist for a diagnosis, and to get the help you need.

Worried About Tongue And Lip Ties? Come To Saginaw Kids Dentistry!

If you’re worried about your child's tongue or lip tie, Dr. Elias and Dr. Christina are here to help. We use a non invasive laser for your child's frenectomy to release the tie and restore your child's oral health. We are always accepting new patients, and we’d love to meet you and your family. Contact us online or give us a call at (682) 285-1900 to schedule your child's appointment today. We look forward to meeting you!

Further reading:

Welcome to Saginaw Kids Dentistry

Welcome to Saginaw Kids Dentistry

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Learn More!
Why Choose A Pediatric Dentist Over A General Dentist?

Why Choose A Pediatric Dentist Over A General Dentist?

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Learn More!

Become a Part of OUR Family Today!

At the heart of Saginaw Kids Dentistry is our passion for meeting families, seeing them grow, and being a trustworthy presence for kids and parents alike. If you’re ready to join our patient family, book a visit online today! We are excited to meet you and your child.

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