What is a Tongue Tie or Lip Tie?

 

A frenulum is the piece of skin that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth and the lip to the gums. They can vary greatly in appearance from person to person and, in the case of lip frenulums, these can change as a child gets older. They are called ties when they interfere with normal function. It used to be thought that up to 10% of the population have a tongue frenulum but more recent studies from Brazil, where by law every baby is examined for tongue tie, they found 50% of babies have a tongue frenulum

Nearly 95% of the population have an upper lip frenulum. If the lip frenulum is restrictive this can affect the seal during feeding and for some children prevents the central incisors coming together leaving a gap between them.

 

 

Problems related to oral restrictions (tongue and/or lip tie)

Eating

  • Difficulty in moving a bolus of food to back of mouth
  • Pushing food forward out of the mouth
  • Difficulty with textures and lumps
  • Choking/Gagging
  • Difficulty licking ice-cream

Speech

  • Lisp or difficulty articulating certain sounds
  • Reduced speed or volume of speech

 

Dental

  • Increased dental decay
  • Rotation or overcrowding of teeth
  • Gum recession
  • Teeth grinding (Bruxism)

 

 

 

 

Joints and posture

  • Jaw joint problems (TMJ)
  • Postural issues - head forward posture, neck pain

 

 

Social

  • Self-conscious about appearance
  • Unable to french kiss

Sleep / Breathing

  • Open mouth posture / mouth breathing
  • Sleep disordered breathing - Concentration/attention issues
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Restlessness
  • Snoring