Lip & Tongue-Ties: Do They Go Away on Their Own?

November 22, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — surfsupdental @ 5:29 pm
a father holding his baby

Today, lip and tongue-ties are becoming more commonly diagnosed in infants, largely due to the mass movement of parents educating themselves on the signs to look out for. Not only can this problem lead to excessive fussiness and digestion issues, but it can also cause painful and uncomfortable breastfeeding experiences. Once you notice these signs, what should you do? Do lip and tongue-ties need to be treated, or can they resolve themselves on their own? Read on to get the answers to these important questions.

What Exactly are Lip & Tongue-Ties?

Lip and tongue-ties develop while babies are in utero and occur when the frenum, which is the piece of tissue that attaches the lips to the gums and the tongue to the floor of the mouth, is overgrown or too thick. As a result, they can severely restrict oral movement, which can make breast and bottle feeding incredibly difficult. When serious lip and tongue-ties are left untreated, it can also cause other issues as your child ages, like speech impediments and airway disorders.

Symptoms to Look Out For

While isolated, symptoms of lip and tongue-ties may be difficult to connect to the condition, especially because many of the signs can overlap with basic experiences parents have with their infants. However, when you notice that these are excessive or your baby has several of these symptoms, it could mean they have a lip or tongue-tie, or both:

  • Poor weight gain
  • Falling asleep while feeding
  • Reflux symptoms/digestion problems
  • Clicking noises when feeding
  • Excessive gassy and fussiness
  • Hiccups
  • Gumming or chewing on nipple while nursing
  • Won’t take a pacifier
  • Short sleeping schedule due to having to feed every one to two hours

Will Lip & Tongue-Ties Resolve Themselves?

Like most problems, lip and tongue-ties can’t correct themselves. However, some are so minor that they may not require intervention. The only way to tell if this is the case is to take your infant to a pediatric dentist and discuss their symptoms with them, as well as have them examined. If the lip and tongue-tie is determined to be hindering their ability to successfully bottle or breastfeed or impacting their daily life and bodily function, a frenectomy may be recommended. This fast and simple procedure shortens the frenum using a soft tissue laser, providing your baby with complete function of their lips and tongue.

When you take your little one to a board-certified pediatric dentist who can quickly assess the severity of their lip or tongue-tie, you can get the answers that you’ve been wanting. While many parents feel left unheard by healthcare professionals, a trained and compassionate expert won’t put your worries to the wayside. They’ll be able to quickly diagnose and address the problem so you can enjoy bonding with your little one.

About the Author

Dr. Bryce Cushing is a board-certified pediatric dentist who has over 15 years of experience. He completed his pediatric residency at a nationally-recognized program, the University of Florida College of Dentistry, and is a diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. He uses the latest technology, like the soft tissue laser, to make sure that procedures like frenectomies are fast, safe, and pain-less for babies, and his calming and warm chairside demeanor makes parents and children alike feel right at ease. For questions or to schedule an appointment, visit Surf’s Up Pediatric Dentistry’s website or call s402-773-7873.

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