It’s a common problem for newborn babies and mamas. Baby is hungry and Mom is ready to nurse, but something isn’t quite working. Despite the nursing mom’s best efforts, the baby struggles to latch on. While many women face challenges when they first begin to breastfeed, with time and maybe the gentle guidance of a lactation consultant, soon the issue is resolved and nursing goes well. In the case of lip and tongue tie, however, this resolution doesn’t always come so simply. While a recent study in 2014 found that lip and tongue tie serious enough to affect breastfeeding is only present in 3.5% of infants, the mothers of those infants need information and solutions. One of these is a lip and tongue tie revision.
What is a lip and tongue tie revision?
Baby lip tie and tongue tie is a condition that occurs when the connective tissue between the upper lip and upper gum or the lower lip and the floor of the mouth is connected more closely closer and tightly to the front of the mouth. The connective tissue in the lip is called the labial frenulum. The one connected to the tongue is the lingual frenulum.
We all have these connections, so seeing this connection in your baby’s mouth is normal. What presents challenges is a lip and tongue tie that is too tight. This can prevent proper movement of the mouth for breastfeeding. There are four types of baby lip and tongue tie.
This type of tongue tie indicates that the lingual frenulum is attached to the very tip of the tongue. Most people speak of a Class 1 tongue tie when they identify any lip and tongue tie.
The tie is located further behind the tip of the tongue.
Located closer to the base of the tongue, this type of tongue tie may not cause any difficulty with breastfeeding at all.
This type of tongue tie occurs underneath the mucous membrane and must be felt to be diagnosed. Babies with this type of tongue tie are often misdiagnosed as having a short tongue.
Lip ties are classified in a similar manner, with the most minor cases tied farther away from the upper lip.
Lip and tongue ties are also known as midline defects. This is an inexact name that includes in the same category cleft palate, cleft lip, cleft chin, extra or missing teeth, nasal atresia, and deviated septum. They are not caused by any action on the part of the mother but are considered genetic conditions.
What are common lip and tongue tie symptoms?
Baby lip and tongue tie is usually diagnosed when breastfeeding difficulties arise.
In a baby without lip and tongue tie, the mouth forms a seal over the mother’s breast. This allows the baby to create the suction needed to nurse successfully. For babies with lip and tongue tie, this suction isn’t possible. It can result in the following signs of a possible problem:
- Difficulty latching on: Whi