Will My Child Grow Out of Their Lip or Tongue-Tie?

November 10, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — coralkids @ 9:20 pm
Smiling baby

Approximately 4% of children are born with lip or tongue-ties. These issues can cause difficulty during the feeding process and can lead to gas, slow weight gain, and excessive fussiness. If left uncorrected, lip or tongue-ties can be detrimental to your child’s appearance as they grow up and can cause difficulties with speaking and eating. Unfortunately, these problems will not go away on their own and require treatment from a trained professional. Here’s more information about lip and tongue-ties as well as what can be done about them.

What Are Lip and Tongue-Ties?

The tongue and both the upper and lower lips are connected to frenulums, which are thin bands of tissue that help hold them in place. These tissues normally loosen and lengthen during the final weeks of gestation, but sometimes this doesn’t happen properly. If a frenulum is too short or thick, the lips and tongue will not be able to move properly.

Lip and tongue-ties often go unnoticed. Infants with these issues often exhibit difficulty during the feeding process. They may not be able to easily draw milk or formula and may become fatigued or have difficulty breathing during nursing. This can lead to slow weight gain and eventually speech impediments or pain during chewing when they’re older.

How Can Lip and Tongue-Ties Be Treated?

Unfortunately, there are a few misconceptions about the seriousness of lip and tongue-ties. In previous decades, it was thought that a stubborn frenulum would eventually stretch itself out or that the tongue or lips would rip themselves free during normal childhood roughhousing injuries. The frenulum will not stretch itself out, and while it’s possible that the lips may pull themselves free as a result of a fall, this is unlikely to happen to a tied tongue.

Lip and tongue-ties require surgery to be corrected. Your family dentist will use a CO2 laser to painlessly eliminate the restrictive tissue, and you can resume breastfeeding immediately after the procedure. The surgery is quick, and the incredibly accurate laser used will not lead to any bleeding.

If you suspect that your child has a lip or tongue-tie, consulting with your pediatric dentist can determine the best course of action. Dealing with the problem early can prevent a wide variety of health issues and get your child off to a good start in life.

About the Practice

Coral Kids Dentistry & Braces provides the best pediatric oral health services available in St. Catherines, ON. Led by Drs. Michael Rullo, Shameel Khan, and Jonathan Campbell, the staff makes visits fun and effective for children by educating them about their dental health and creating a friendly environment. Pediatric dentistry, wisdom tooth extractions, orthodontics, and lip and tongue-tie treatments. For more information on treating lip and tongue-ties, contact the office online or dial (905) 684-5437.

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