What is a Tongue or Lip-Tie?
A tongue-tie is an unusually short, thick or tight band of tissue (lingual frenulum) that tethers the bottom of the tongue’s tip to the floor of the mouth, limiting mobility. Likewise, a lip-tie (labial frenulum) is a short, thick or tight band of tissue that tethers the upper lip to the upper gums, limiting the lip’s ability to flare and curl.
Symptoms of Tongue & Lip-Tie
Tongue and lip-ties are serious and lead to many oral and health risks, and most often cause pain to the breastfeeding mother. Both mother and baby will demonstrate symptoms when the baby has a tongue and/or lip-tie.
Breastfeeding babies usually show the following symptoms with a tie is present:
- No latch or frequently broken latch
- Shallow latch, sliding off the breast
- Breaks latch seal, clicking or smacking sounds
- Gassy, colic, and/or reflux
- Prolonged feeding durations
- Unsatisfied after long feeds, leaks milk
- Gumming or chewing the nipple
- Engorged breasts, leading to decreased milk supply
- Poor weight gain/failure to thrive
- Unable to hold pacifier
Breastfeeding mothers usually notice the following when a tie is present:
- Creased or blanched nipples after breastfeeding
- Cracked, bruised, or blistered nipples
- Bleeding and/or infected nipples
- Severe pain during latch
- Clogged milk ducts
- Mastitis and/or nipple thrush
- Poor/incomplete breast drainage