• Daher   •   February 20, 2023

5 Most Common Symptoms of Lip & Tongue Ties:

Tongue-tie or lip tie is a condition present at birth that restricts the tongue’s range of motion and can cause a child to have difficulty with feeding, speech skills, and maintaining adequate oral hygiene. Untreated lip or tongue ties can result in sleep apnea, and result in breathing difficulties. Tongue and lip ties also cause difficulties when breastfeeding, and can lead to speech impediments and various other issues later in life.

Thick or malformed oral tissues usually cause tongue and lip ties. Tongue ties result when the lingual frenulum is short, thick, or malformed. Lip ties are also, the same thing but usually occur when the frenulum which connects the lower or upper lip to the gums is short or too thick or is improperly formed, causing mobility issues with the lips.

1. Limited Tongue Mobility:

Limited tongue mobility is one of the major symptoms of lip and tongue tie disorder. If a baby has a tongue tie, his tongue mobility might be fully or partially limited. This can result in uncomfortable and unproductive breastfeeding. A Baby’s tongue needs a full range of motion to latch or eat and therefore such conditions require immediate treatment.

2. Poor Weight Gain:

Every baby is different, but the majority of babies born with this condition are seen to lose between 7% and 10% of their birth weight as soon as they are born. However, most babies tend to regain that weight within two weeks of their birth or when their tongue functionality is restored. Poor weight fluctuations could either be a sign of inadequate feeding or incomplete nutrition, both of which could result in lip or tongue ties.

3. Improper And Painful Breastfeeding:

A proper latch is comfortable and pain-free and allows your baby’s chest and stomach to rest against your body. If your baby has a tongue or lip tie, you might find that this entire process of latching is difficult or uncomfortable. Your baby might seem to struggle in order to get a comfortable latch or have difficulty while remaining latched. If you examine such symptoms, take your baby to a paediatrician’s office as he can reveal the actual reason for their uneasy behaviour.

Breastfeeding should not be painful. If you find the process uncomfortable, it might be because your baby has not successfully latched in the right position or is finding difficulties while breastfeeding. A tongue-tied baby usually concentrates too much force on breastfeeding which can cause pain. This is a significant symptom that your baby might have a lip or tongue tie.

4. Infant Fatigue While Breastfeeding:

If your infant becomes fatigued or tired while struggling to latch and feed properly; he might have a lip or tongue tie. If you notice that the act of trying to nurse is frustrating and exhausting your baby, you should consult a paediatrician at once. Infants with this problem also get tired because it is difficult for them to breathe while feeding.

This especially occurs because they can’t perform the wave-like motion required to move food from the front of their mouth to the back before swallowing. This results in a poor breath pattern, which can cause your baby to become exhausted and overwhelmed.

5. Difficulty While Maintaining Oral Hygiene:

Poor oral hygiene is another symptom of tongue and lip ties. For an infant, tongue-tie can make it difficult to sweep food debris from the teeth. Tongue and lip ties can also lead to the formation of a space or gap between the two bottom front teeth. Tongue or lip ties can also interfere with various other activities such as licking an ice cream cone, or playing a wind instrument.

Causes Of  Lip & Tongue Ties:

Normally, the lingual frenulum separates before birth and allows the tongue a free range of motion. But in the case of tongue tie, the lingual frenulum remains attached to the bottom of the tongue. The actual cause of this problem is largely unknown, although some cases of tongue or lip ties have been associated with certain genetic factors.

Treatments Of Lip & Tongue Ties:

People who are born with tongue or lip ties usually improve without treatment over time. But in some severe cases, surgical intervention is necessary.


Lip and tongue ties only need to be corrected when an infant exhibits symptoms like speech difficulties, feeding troubles, or neck and back muscular issues. Frenulotomy is generally a procedure used to treat a mild tongue tie or a lip tie. To revise a tongue tie, the lingual frenulum, the web of tissue underneath the tongue, is usually cut through the use of a laser therapy. This procedure can be performed within a few minutes, by a paediatrician or paediatric dentist. A lip tie can also be corrected in the same way but in this case, the superior labial frenulum is cut through laser therapy.

However, lip ties are considered relatively uncommon, and according to research, a lip tie might not be treated unless it causes an infant to have feeding difficulties. If you have concerns that your child might have a tongue or lip tie, you should discuss it with your child’s Paediatrician in order to get proper treatment. Complications of a frenotomy are relatively rare but can still occur and usually include bleeding, infection, or damage to the tongue or salivary glands.


Frenuloplasty is considered to be a more extensive procedure that might be recommended if additional repair is required or the lingual frenulum is too thick for a frenotomy. This procedure is performed under general anaesthesia with surgical tools. After the frenulum is released, the wound is closed with sutures that absorb on their own as the wound heals.

Complications in this procedure are quite similar to a frenotomy and are generally rare. Common risk factors include bleeding, infection, or damage to the tongue or salivary glands. Scarring is also possible in some cases due to the more extensive nature of the procedure. After this treatment, tongue exercises may be recommended to enhance tongue movement and reduce the potential for scarring.