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What is Lip & Tongue Tie

baby on mother's lapTongue-tie and lip-tie are conditions in which the tongue or lip remain too tightly attached to the gum of the upper jaw or the floor of the mouth. There is a process called apoptosis that occurs during fetal development that separates this attachment, but when that separation does not occur completely, the individual can have restriction of the tongue and lip that can cause various symptoms for babies as well as older children and adults.

Lip and tongue-tie occurs when the lack of complete apoptosis leads to the connective tissues, frenulum, being tight, immobile, or too hard. This can impeded movement during speech, chewing, and smiling. It is often difficult to determine what a “normal” frenulum should look like and what a restricted frenulum looks like. Too often we get distracted by the appearance of the frenulum when there are many other things that come into play when assessing restriction. It is important to have a comprehensive evaluation by a trained provider of not only appearance but function and symptoms to determine if a revision would be beneficial. One symptom or sign is not enough to conclude revision would be beneficial. However, if Dr. Paige determines you would benefit from treatment for lip and tongue-tie, we can offer revision to allow for full, comfortable movement.