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Lip & Tongue Tie: How Common Are These Conditions?

Baby smiling with blanket on head

Lip and tongue tie treatment may not be the first service you think about when it comes to dentistry, however it is becoming much more common in dental offices because it helps children enjoy healthy smiles. By correcting these issues, a child won’t have developmental problems and other obstacles that come with lip or tongue ties. But how common are these problems? Should you be on the lookout for them for your child? Read on to get the answers to these questions!

What Exactly is a Lip or Tongue Tie?

Tongue tie is a condition that restricts the movement of the tongue due to an abnormally short frenulum – a small membrane that connects the floor of the mouth to the underside of the tongue. A lip tie keeps the upper lip tied to the gumline because of a tight labial frenulum. These conditions can develop for both girls and boys, and they also tend to be genetic.

Warning Signs to Look Out For

One of the most common signs that your child has a lip or tongue tie is difficulty breastfeeding. If your infant is affected by one of these conditions, you (or the mother) may experience:

  • Sore/Painful nipples
  • Difficult milk transfer
  • Low milk supply

Additionally, be on the lookout for symptoms affecting your infant like:

  • Slow weight gain
  • Fussy feedings
  • Biting down when feeding
  • More gas/spitting up

As a parent, you may also see developmental issues, including:

  • Stuttering
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Congestion or sinus problems
  • Picky about certain foods
  • Mouth breathing

How Common is a Lip or Tongue Tie?

Tongue and lip ties are common, however there seems to be an increasing number of cases lately. While it isn’t confirmed that the number of tongue and lip ties are on the rise, the instances of treatments are! Thanks to social media, more parents are learning about tongue and lip ties along with their risks. There is even one Facebook group that supports parents with babies who have tongue and lip ties that has around 100 new members joining each week.

Another reason is the resurgence of breastfeeding. There is evidence of lip and tongue tie treatment dating back to 1679, however correcting this issue became less popular due to the rise of formula feeding. Without some of the warning signs mentioned above, mothers and parents had less of a need to get their child’s tongue or lip ties addressed. Nowadays, the paradigm has shifted back to breastfeeding. This has led to many mothers looking for help due to nursing issues. There are also more dentists being trained to diagnose and treat lip and tongue ties, which contributes to the increase in cases.

If you notice any warning signs, don’t delay treatment. There are many other parents out there in the same situation, but your dentist can help ensure your child grows and develops with a healthy mouth.

Meet the Dentist

Dr. Tad Morgan is an experienced dentist who offers tongue and lip tie treatment at his convenient Bullard office. While this condition is far more common among infants, he also treats toddlers, children, teens, and adults! From surgery to myofunctional therapy, he is ready to help. To schedule an appointment, Dr. Morgan can be reached through his website or by phone at (903) 825-1112.