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What to do if you suspect your child has a tongue or lip tie?

  • Breastfeeding difficulties

  • Reflux

  • Gassiness

  • Poor weight gain

  • Sleep challenges

  • Mouth breathing

  • Snoring/Congestion

  • High tone

Do any of these issues sound all too familiar, Mama?

The signs and symptoms I just mentioned are some clinical indications of tethered oral tissue, also known as tongue or lip tie.

If you're a new mama and your bub is experiencing any of these signs, we understand how frustrating and overwhelming it can be for you. We know its massive impact on your life, and I will share how you can resolve your frustrations and stress.

You've heard of tongue tie before but have no idea what it is. Simply put, a tongue tie or lip tie occurs when the tissues that support the lip and tongue are short and/or thick and limit the movement of the tongue and lip.

And unfortunately, this limited movement of the tongue and lip can dramatically impact an infant's day-to-day life. It shows up as breastfeeding difficulties, diminished sucking and swallowing function in the infant and overall tension in the body.

Because the tongue and lip connect to the entire body, their positioning impacts the whole body's posture. When the tongue and lip don't move properly, the head must go forward to get a full breath. In addition, when the oral tissue is tethered, a baby compensates by using other muscles during feeding and breathing, which results in tension.

You might be thinking … "won't my baby just grow out of this?" Well, the short answer is, not really. Tongue and lip ties do not stretch or disappear as babies grow older; the problems just evolve- they don't go away. Long term, TOT impacts posture, jaw development, and dentition. And if unaddressed, these ties can lead to sleep apnea and headaches in childhood and even in adulthood.

So, what's the first step if you suspect your baby might have a tongue tie?

Here at Balanced for Life, our chiropractors are trained in the Pediatric Intraoral Palate Specific Technique, which will help assess your infant's tongue and lip function. We will test for neck, jaw and spine tension and evaluate primitive reflexes and movement milestones. It is essential to work with a team of pediatric dentists who release tongue ties and lactation consultants when it comes to tongue and lip ties. A referral to these practitioners will be made if deemed necessary.

If the oral tether tissues need to be released surgically, it is essential to have chiropractic care 24-48 hours before and after the release to obtain the best results.

So if you've been struggling with an unsettled bub that is having difficulties feeding, and your gut tells you something isn't right, don't ignore that feeling—book in for an assessment.

And why am I sharing this with you? Because here at Balanced for Life, moving better matters.

  1. Marasco L. Letter to the editor regarding N. Sethi, et al., benefits of frenulotomy in infants with ankyloglossia, IJPO (2013) Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2014;78(3):572.’




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