Monday, February 20, 2012

Tongue Tie and Lip Tie Snipping- For Health and Monetary Benefits

A kid with a tongue tie.
I'm not a big interventionist, and I don't hold much trust in the medical establishment. I don't rush to the doctor for every little thing, and I think far too many people jump into doing surgical procedures that not only could be avoided, but often do more harm than good.
That said, I've elected to have minor surgical procedures for not just one or two, but all three of my kids. Lee had his tongue tie and lip tie snipped, Ike had his tongue tie snipped, and Anneliese had her lip tie snipped just yesterday. Why would I, as a mom, choose to do elective medical interventions and choose to put my kids through pain, not to mention being willing to pay money for these surgical procedures?

I guess to answer this, I'll have to start at the very beginning.

My Kids' Tongue Ties and Lip Ties
When Lee was born, nursing hurt at first. Of course, everyone "knows" that nursing usually hurts, right? But I dunno, something just didn't seem right. It really, really hurt, and it didn't seem normal.
When the docs came around and were telling my roommate in the hospital that her baby had a tongue tie, I listened carefully, then asked the doc "So does my baby have a tongue tie also?" They took a quick look, and then said "No, doesn't look like it" and then went.
But when nursing was still painful 3 weeks later, and on top of that I got engorged and got mastititis because Lee wasn't managing to empty out my breasts from milk, I paid a visit to a lactation consultant who affirmed what I had originally thought- Lee certainly did have a tongue tie, and that was why nursing hurt so much- he wasn't able to get a proper latch and flattened my nipple like a pancake while nursing.

At the recommendation of my lactation consultant, I took Lee to a dentist in the area who specialized in correcting tongue ties. The dentist asked me to open my mouth real wide, peered in, and said "You have a tongue tie." He then looked at my husband's mouth and said "You also have a tongue tie! Tongue tie is genetic generally; its very likely that all your kids will end up with tongue ties."

I always thought this stretch of skin from my tongue to
 the bottom of my mouth was normal, then I found out that no,
this was a tight frenulum and was a tongue tie!
Me? A tongue tie? What's that? I never noticed anything odd about my mouth... My mouth looked "normal" to me. I mean, it was no different than my mom's mouth, my sisters and brother's mouth, my dad's mouth, or my husband's mouth. Of course, I discovered at that point that everyone in my family has a tongue tie, as does my husband, which is why what I thought was normal was in fact, not.

According to the dentist, Lee also had an upper labial frenulum, also known as a lip tie, and for a nice fee of 75 dollars cash, the dentist snipped them both. The procedure took less than a minute total, required no anasthesia or stitches, and the dentist instructed me to nurse as soon as he was finished, and by the time the nursing session was over, there was no blood in sight. And might I mention that nursing was a breeze thereafter; all the pain disappeared, and we had a nice long nursing relationship until Lee was 19 months old and I was 5 months pregnant with Ike.


Lip tie. Note the skin between the gums and the lips.
By the time Ike was born, I was prepared already with the knowledge of what a tongue tie felt like and looked like, and I was able to diagnose him with a tongue tie at one day old, while still in the hospital. Because of that, I was able to get the top surgeon from the children's ward the floor below to snip Ike's tongue tie at 2 days old, and again, we had no problems with nursing because of that, and I saved myself the cost of the tongue tie snipping (especially since the dentist raised his price for the snipping to 150 dollars!)

When I was pregnant with Anneliese, I was pretty sure she'd also have a tongue tie, and I was even considering going back to the hospital to give birth just because of the ease of having the tongue tie snipped at 2 days old, not to mention it being free, but in the end I decided to go with a homebirth and just write off the cost of tongue tie snipping as another homebirth related expense. I'm glad I didn't choose to have a hospital birth for that reason, as Anneliese was my first kid without a tongue tie; she did have a lip tie which my local family doctor snipped yesterday, in about 30 seconds.
Anneliese's mouth post tongue tie snipping.
Note no flap of skin between the gums and
the lips, only a bit of redness where it used to be
From readers here, I learned that a tongue tie is actually somewhat related to a cleft palate, and can possibly be connected to dietary issues, but I don't know. I suspect that my diet change (cutting out gluten for most of my pregnancy with her) helped me absorb nutrition better and helped her mouth develop better but I don't know for certain.

So, now you know how I got my kids lip ties and tongue ties snipped, but I still haven't explained why I did it. The reason I'm sharing this is because tongue tie snipping and lip tie snipping actually are beneficial to your health, and to your pocketbook, and that is why it's something I strongly recommend people do, even if you think you can manage without it, and that is why I would have been willing to pay cash to get a tongue tie snipped- a little money spent now to save a lot of money in the long run.

What is a Tongue Tie, Really?
Open your mouth and lift your tongue. Either look in the mirror or feel with your finger- is there a flap of skin  attaching your tongue to the bottom of your mouth?
This flap of skin is called a frenulum, and many people have it. This is referred to as a tongue tie when the frenulum is attached more towards the front of the mouth and tongue, and isn't just in the very back, as this generally "ties" the tongue to the bottom of the mouth and impedes mobility of the tongue.
Depending on the severity of the tongue tie, some people may not be able to extend their tongue outside their mouth much, if at all.
Many people with tongue ties have their frenulums stretch somewhat as they get older, allowing their tongues more mobility, which is why I, even with a tongue tie, can nearly touch my nose with my tongue.

What problems are connected to tongue ties?
One of the first and foremost problems connected to tongue ties is breastfeeding issues. Many babies with tongue ties can't get a proper latch and hurt the mother, and may not stimulate the milk to come in properly. Many mothers whose babies have tongue ties give up breastfeeding right from the start, or stop after a little bit when their milk dries up because milk production works by supply and demand, and a bad latch can cause milk production to drop once its no longer regulated by the post birth hormone rush.
My siblings all had tongue ties, and we all, every one of us, had problems with nursing. My mother's milk dried up between 3 months and a year for all of us, and that was with pumping to keep up her supply.
Being able to nurse your children long term for a decent length of time (at least until a year old, ideally until 2 years old) is very beneficial for your children's long term health, not to mention pocket book, as breastmilk is much, much cheaper than formula (even once you factor in the cost of a pump and bottles if necessary, tongue tie snipping, and a lactation consultant).

Assuming you weren't planning on breastfeeding, or if the baby's tongue tie isn't causing problems with nursing, are there other reasons to get the tongue tie snipped? Absolutely.

Tongue ties very often cause speech impediments, because they cause problems with tongue mobility. Once I learned this, it really comes as no surprise to me that my sisters, brothers, and I all had speech issues and needed to go to speech therapy to work on those. (I had a minor lisp which went away with therapy, my siblings had problems pronouncing  the "sh", "ch", "g" ,"j",  and "r" sounds- and I'm sure there are other ones I'm forgetting.) Not surprisingly as well, the siblings with the worst tongue ties also have/had the biggest speech issues.
Speech issues can cause self esteem issues, and may cause problems socially for your child, and may cause problems later on in the work place.
Taking care of these speech issues with speech therapy is time consuming and may be expensive, depending on your insurance and the availability of speech therapy in your location.

Ok, but assuming your child doesn't have speech issues, or if you don't think speech impediments are enough of a reason to do a surgical procedure, albeit a minor one, are there still other reasons to get a tongue tie snipped?

Yes.

When a person has a tongue tie and their tongue's mobility is limited, his tongue doesn't generally rest against the roof of his mouth- his palate, which almost always means that the person ends up with a really high and narrow palate instead of a flatter and wider palate. The reason for this is because a tongue pressing against the palate naturally widens it; something that doesn't happen with people with a tongue tie.

So, what's the issue with a high palate?

Teeth issues.  Big ones. Namely not enough room in your mouth for all your teeth.

I was 8 years old the first time I went to the orthodontist. My parents took me because my teeth looked scary, I had "monster teeth", teeth pointing every which way. My older sister had the same. My parents played no games with our teeth, as the cause of our very crooked teeth were because we had overlapping roots. My dad's cousin, Art, had the same teeth issues, severely overlapping roots... which caused all of his teeth to fall out by the time he was 18; he lived with dentures for the rest of his life. My parents wanted to take no chance of that happening to us, so I was in orthodontics from a very young age.

Palate spreader to widen a narrow palate
The reason the roots of mine and my sister's teeth were overlapping was because there was no room in our really small mouths for all our teeth. To make more room in our mouths, we had palate spreaders, which we widened every day gradually by means of a little key, and day by day, our jaws grew wider and our palates lowered somewhat. This made space in our mouths for our teeth, so our roots no longer were overlapping, and with the help of braces, we finally had straight teeth.
I actually ended up getting a palate spreader two times, the second time in high school, because my palate was still too small. After all this, my palate is actually quite wide, and I have more than enough room in my mouth for all my teeth, including all 4 of my wisdom teeth which I still have (and therefore was able to avoid oral surgery to remove them).
My husband also has a really narrow, high palate... and I'm sorry to say, his dentist was a bit of an idiot. (I don't say this lightly; every dentist Mike has been to since has commented what a terrible job his previous dentists did and how they really messed up my husbands mouth to the extent.) Instead of widening my husband's palate, this dentist just pulled out a bunch of my husband's teeth so there would be less crowding, and they were the wrong teeth to pull. Nearly 10 years later my husband is paying for this dentists' blunder with pain and other mouth issues that need extensive dental and orthodontic work to fix, numbering in the thousands of dollars, which we can't afford to fix, unfortunately.

Tongue ties causing high narrow palates end up costing thousands upon thousands of dollars to fix via orthodontics and other dentistry, issues that need to be taken care of not just for cosmetic reasons, but to be able to keep your teeth...
Lee and Ike are the first people in my family to have their tongue ties snipped, and they're the first ones in my family to have wide palates, with nice spaces between their teeth. There of course is no guarantees of anything, but as their palates are already low and wide, there is little likelihood they'll need orthodonture in the future, and I am pretty sure I can attribute that to them having had their tongue ties snipped.

High palates also narrow the sinus cavities and can cause tremendous sinus issues for those who have them. Myself, my mother, and my father all had chronic sinus issues and my parents still have them.

I don't remember the exact reasoning behind it, but tongue ties and high palates are also linked to thyroid and other hormonal issues.

ETA: Weston Price's Observation and Tongue Ties
Interestingly, Weston A. Price, the dentist behind the "real food" movement, also had something (ok a lot) to say on wide palates vs narrow palates. From his research, he discovered that people who follow a traditional foods diet high in nutrition and low in pesticides, etc, generally have a wide, low palate, as opposed to today's high and narrow palates, and have "malocclusion", a bad bite.
This bad bite and high arches can be the cause of so many different health issues that you wouldn't have thought to connect either.

Are you a nose breather, or a mouth breather? I breathe through my mouth, always have. (It caused problems when I was getting orthodontics done- I was always told to breathe through my nose when they were taking a mold of my teeth, but I couldn't, and I'd end up breathing through my mouth and gagging on the mold and they'd have to repeat it too many times...) You're really not supposed to breathe through your mouth- we're built to be breathing through our nose all the time, but when you have a high palate, your nasal passages are much smaller, which makes it less easy to breathe through them.
Most people with high palates tend to be mouth breathers. Mouth breathing causes sleep apnea and snoring.
According to Raymond Silkman, a wholistic dentist, breathing through your mouth is a chronic distress signal to your autonomic nervous system; people who mouth breathe tend to
 "live with a kind of permanent tension, and chronically experience a sense of being on “high alert” from their amped-up sympathetic nervous systems. The resulting mild to major systemic anoxia (lack of oxygen) has a negative effect on every cell in the body, and has been further linked to chronic anxiety, certain types of headaches, hypertension, reduced heart rate (bradycardia), blood-clotting dysregulation, enuresis (bedwetting), and chronic nose, ear and sinus infections." (From here.)
There also apparently are strong connections between mental acuity (IQ), ADHD, OCD, Tourettes, Autism and Aspergers, hearing issues, and TMJ.

According to Weston Price, this type of problem is related to the diet in the Western world. What I wonder is- can this be because a bad diet causes tongue ties? Could the reason Anneliese wasn't born with a tongue tie be because my diet was different (and better) during my pregnancy with her than it was with my pregnancy of my boys? Could the reason why tongue ties appear to be genetic be because people in the same family tend to eat similarly; one person cooks for the entire family, and the next generation tends to learn to cook from their parents and then often cooks a similar style?
I wonder if tongue tie clipping together with the type of diet recommended by Weston Price is actually best to correct the high palate and the issues that come along with it, and that one without the other can help, but the two together would be most effective once a kid is already born with a tongue tie...

So, why do I get my kids' tongue ties snipped?
Because if I try to avoid this intervention and expense now, my kids will likely have further health issues down the line and need to have even more painful and expensive interventions than the 30 second tongue tie snipping now.

Well, what about lip tie?
Yea, this was my dilemma for the past little while. What about lip ties? I know with certainty that I'd snip any tongue ties my kids would have, because the alternative is worse, but it was much harder to find out what exactly the problem is with a lip tie.
The first bit of information I found about lip ties is that when a kid has a lip tie, often they have a hard time latching on when breastfeeding, as their lip curls down instead of going upward like it is supposed to do while nursing, but even with Anneliese's lip tie, she was able to nurse fine, and it's been pretty smooth sailing. (Ok, it hurt the first 2 weeks somewhat, but once her lip tie stretched out a bit, she was able to nurse no problem.)

With nursing not an issue, what was the problem with a lip tie? Any reason to snip it?
The next bit of information I found on the topic was that lip ties generally cause a gap in the front teeth, and while this is cute in little kids, it can be embarrassing and less "cute" looking in adults; many people want braces to eliminate this gap. Personally, I don't know if I'd pay for braces for something that is just cosmetic and not a health concern, so snipping a lip tie to avoid paying for braces definitely sounded appealing to me. But... I still wasn't sure. Do I put my kid through a minor "surgery" for merely cosmetic reasons? I mean, shouldn't I give my kids a choice if they want an elective cosmetic "surgery" done?
I was really torn, going back and forth in my mind, unsure whether it was wrong to do a medical procedure for entirely cosmetic reasons, when a lactation consultant friend, who knew I was searching for reasons why lip frenectomies (snipping frenulums) are done, sent me a link that talked about the topic, and it mentioned the reason that finally convinced me 100% to get it done.
When a kid has a lip tie, the lip stays pretty close to the front teeth all the time, and little particles of food tend to get trapped there, which leads to tooth decay. Basically, lip ties can mean the kid gets lots of cavities in their front teeth, and since I already have so many teeth issues with my kids, and as it is, I'm torn what to do about those cavities, I decided that if I could do a minor procedure that would make my baby less likely to need fillings when she's older, then I'd do it.
And so yesterday, I got Anneliese's lip tie snipped, it took all of 30 seconds, entailed no anasthesia (the doc had me give her a specific amount of tylenol beforehand) and the most she cried was actually when the doctor was holding up her lip to take a better look- it seemed like that bothered her more than the snipping itself. The doc held the cut with a gauze for 15 seconds, after which there was virtually no more bleeding.
The doc said that with older kids, when you get a lip tie or tongue tie snipped, there is much more pain and much more bleeding, and it requires stitches. With little kids, its practically painless and bloodless, fortunately. (Cost me nothing, by the way; my insurance covered it fortunately.)

So there you have it.
Why I, the generally anti medical interventonist mom elected to have minor oral surgery on all 3 kids of mine so far, and recommend that anyone who's kid has a tongue tie or lip tie get them snipped, even if you think your kid will be fine without, because it'll most likely help prevent medical issues in the future, not to mention likely save you a lot of money. Of course, can you really call it surgery if it involved nothing more than latex gloves, a few pieces of gauze, a pair of medical scissors and 30 seconds?

Do you have any experience with tongue ties or lip ties with your kids? Did you opt to get their tongue ties or lip ties snipped? Why or why not? Did you have to pay cash for it or did your insurance pay for it? How old were your kids when you got it done?
Do you or anyone in your family have a tongue tie? Do you have a little flap of skin between your tongue and the bottom of your mouth? If so, did you have any breastfeeding issues, speech impediments, need orthodontics, have sinus issues, or thyroid issues? 
If you had to go to speech therapy, had a palate spreader, or have chronic sinus issues, pick up your tongue and feel for a flap of skin underneath. Do you have a tongue tie, possibly never diagnosed?
Do you or any of your families have the health issues mentioned in the Weston Price section, including AD(H)D, Autism/Aspergers, Tourettes, sleep apnea, chronic anxiety, tension headaches, hypertension, bradycardia, bed wetting issues, etc? What do you think about what he says about the connection?
Does your family follow a traditional foods diet, and were you following one before your kids were born? If so, do your kids have tongue ties?
Do you or any family members have lip ties? Do you have a gap between your front teeth or lots of cavities in your front teeth?
After having read this info about tongue ties and lip ties, if you had a kid with a tongue tie or lip tie, would you have it snipped? Why or why not?

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53 comments:

  1. I just discovered my 18month old is lip tied and was told that clipping doesn't fix it all the way, there should be a laser procedure done to remove the extra tissue in the gums so that when the front teeth come in there the extra tissue is not going to cause a gap???

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    1. There's clipping, which just loosens the frenulum a bit so that there's a little more mobility. There's a high rate of reattachment with clipping, because it's not a complete revision. Then there's the procedure which removes the frenulum instead of just snipping it. The term frenectomy is often used interchangeably for both.

      Laser simply offers more precision, though scissors can absolutely be just as effective if they're in capable hands.

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  2. Both of our daughters so far (our third girl coming in February) have been born at home and never entered a clinic... it was a friend who told me about her daughters lip tie problems and got me wanting to look in my own girls mouths just to see and sure enough I find a lip tie in my own daughter... Then I looked at myself and I believe I am tied too, it's just pretty stretched out now and I only have the gap in my front teeth... This is just such unexpected news to me. I literally found this out 20 minutes ago lol.

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  3. I am currently thinking about having my LOs lip tie taken care of. When I posted about it in my local AP group, a large number of other moms figured out their LOs have tongue or lip ties as well. I really wish this was something they routinely check for if nursing is difficult. I think it's sad Drs disagree on the topic. It makes so much sense. Have you ever researched tongue and lip ties connection to Folic Acid? I have read a few articles now that suggest synthetic Folic Acid could be the culprit.

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    1. that is interesting about the synthetic folic acid and could hold some truth I have three older teenage boys who I did not take folic acid during pregnancy none had lip or tongue ties but I took folic acid starting before and during pregnancy of my twins and both have lip and tongue ties, I will be looking into this further thanks for pointing this out

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  4. And thank you for writing this. It was one of the few articles I found and shared as extremely helpful!

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  5. I took my 8 week old daughter ti the dentist today and she told me that no one would fix her lip tie that she didn't see it being a problem even though I told her our nursing wasn't doing so good. What do I do about that just keep looking for someone who'll do it?

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  6. a) FRENULUM - TO SNIP OR NOT TO SNIP just to get prettier teeth? It may not always be good. This tissue is on our tongues to PREVENT US FROM SWALLOWING OUR TONGUES DURING UNCONSCIOUSNESS - could be a LIFESAVER? Good and bad aspects, either way?
    b) New evolutionary ADVANTAGES may be developing in us having a high narrow palate in recent human life - eg VOCAL QUALITY, FOOD TASTING.
    c) When you are older you wish the "orthodontist" had not pulled out those EXTRA, WONKY TEETH. You now need them TO CHEW ON, WHEN YOU HAVE LOST THE OTHERS through heavy chewing use.
    Medical and anthropological research is needed before concluding snips are good

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    1. There is not an ounce of truth in what you have said...in fact what a load of rubbish.
      All babies should be checked properly when born and if tongue tied it should be nipped asap....which enables them later to speak with clarity without not sounding as though their tongue is thick in their mouths, and others have difficulty in understanding their speech....these tongue tied children can't even lick an ice cream..for goodness sake have their tongues nipped asap.
      Are you an orthodontist?? what makes you think you know better than they do???? Once again what you say about teeth being extracted is ..another load of rubbish.

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    2. It is also physically impossible to "swallow" your tongue, when you pass out, or become unconscious, and you are laying on your back (supine) the muscles all relax that hold everything in place, and gravity pulls them down causing an obstructed airway (same cause of some snoring).

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    3. and its not about "prettier teeth", your mouth health is directly related to your heart health. go back to school sheep.

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    4. A high, vaulted, narrow palate is now being associated with sleep disordered breathing and sleep apnea

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  7. Wow, thank you so much for this article. My 6 week old daughter had problems latching, I was in so much pain I gave up breastfeeding when she was a week old. I got a lot of grief for it from my family but I have just noticed today that she has a upper lip tie, which could have contributed to the latching issues. Thank you :)

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  8. Thanks for a great, informative article!! My children were both born with tongue-ties -- and they were both clipped. My son didn't nurse for 6 weeks, but then he made it! (Thankfully my daughter -though painfully- nursed from the start) -- I wrote about my journey with my son here: http://wildflowerramblings.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/my-breastfeeding-journey/

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  9. We were living in Bolivia when our 7th child was born. He nursed fine, but after a few months a friend of ours told us that our baby was tongue tied. Sure enough, when his tongue would try to stick out, it would look like it was cleaving in the middle because the "tie" was holding it in. This friend's husband had been tongue tied and finally got it fixed when he was 18 years old because he "was tired of getting his nose in his ice cream". His helpful country doctor simply said "lift your tongue" and, snip, it was all fixed. It must be pretty simple if a doctor can do that to a fella who is already adult sized.

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    1. He was lucky. It depends on the tie. Sometimes when the kid gets older, it thickens and needs stitches afterward, and sometimes it stretches and can just be snipped like that.

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  10. I'm 21 with toungue tie. my mouth is all good never had to go dentist for any operations or anything

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    1. I have tongue tie so does my daughter. She/I had ZERO problems breastfeeding. I do not intend to do anything unless her tongue tie actually becomes a problem.

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    2. It's important to know that not every frenulum is a health issue. Every person in my family has both a tongue and lip frenulum, but they are more at the base of the tongue, not forward, or high in the gum. According to my mom, each of use nursed successfully and vigorously for nearly two years, without any discomfort on her part. We all had braces because it was the thing to do, but could easily have lived without. None of us had speech impediments. My two children have similar formations, and both nursed successfully and vigorously with no problems, starting within minutes of birth, and my daughter until nearly age 3. While snipping may be helpful for some, it is by no means called for if there is no problem.

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    3. I don't think she was advocating it for everyone, just those with tongue or lip tie. The presence of a frenulum doesn't always indicate tongue or lip tie, only if it's too close to the mouth opening.

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  11. Hi there thank you for this info I feel so relieved I had problems with my baby latching on the first few days of being born.i thought It was the shape of my nipples or my breastfeeding techniques.she ended up losing alot of weight in her first week and we were admited to hospital with a strict feeding diet where I used the shield and pumped milk like crazy.till she started gaining her weight which she did.

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  12. There is alot of debate between peads and lactation consultants so I was getting all these professional debates for and against.from
    What I knew my baby couldn't latch or extend her tongue.after 5 days in hospital we were released and the next day I made sure she had that appointment to get her tongue tie and upper lip done.hers was quite servere so she required getting a laser to fix.the procedure took 20 mins and cost $247 but I travelled 1 hour 1/2 putt of town to get it done as they can charge alot.after the laser she fed straight away.i was in the room when they done it and she didn't cry just a bit annoyed with the fingers in her mouth .she did fall asleep during it too.shes about 10 days old now but I see the differences she latches without the shield and idk but her lungs in. Crying seen stronger.her feeding isn't messy.and not so tired with her tongue no restrictions.being a ftm I had never heard of this being in our family although her father has a gap in his front teeth I wonder if that's due to a lip tie.very interesting to know.but yes I would really recomend this procedure no matter the cost if I see differences in these first few days I could imagine how beneficial it'll be in future.and totally agree with this info.shes a much happier bubba now and I feel reassured shes getting enough in breastfeeding.

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  13. Are the costs you've been quoting after insurance? I was quoted $600 to cut the lip tie (with laser). That is without insurance though.

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  14. I finally found a dentist who will do a laser revision for my daughter's upper lip tie, but when we inquired about insurance coverage, they informed us that so far (in their experience) no insurance has covered the procedure and that we would have to pay up-front. They quoted $254, which isn't bad, but I found it extremely odd that they don't seem to think our insurance would cover it. We're going to work with our insurance to try to get the procedure pre-approved.

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  15. Thank you for this. I'm a lactation consultant and see tongue ties frequently. Some are obviously problematic; others can be less so depending on the functionality of the tongue, whether the mom is in pain with nursing, and whether the baby is gaining weight appropriately. Good idea to get them evaluated early by an ENT. Luckily, we have several good ones in the Austin area.

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    1. Hello,
      I am new to the Austin area and my son has had both his tongue and lip tie corrected prior to moving here however I think his lip has reattached. Do you know the names of physicians here in the area that are experts in releasing the lip.
      Thank you

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  16. I wish you had pictures of a normal tongue and lip just for comparison.

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    1. I'm sorry! It's so hard to find! I don't have any family members that are normal, and usually when a pic is posted online, its because there is an issue...

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  17. Hmm, well I have tongue and lip ties. And absolutely perfect teeth and perfect bite.

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  18. My son is tongue tied and had no problem nursing but has had speech issues. He could not do the S blends so he said pider, chool, and treet. He has already had one 6 month session with a palate expander and still has a narrow palate and needs braces. They plan on tilting his teeth out slightly so they will fan forward and bite correctly. I never had his tongue cut because it didn't cross my mind it could cause any problems. His older brother and sister both have tongue ties and were already 4 and 8 with no BIG issues. Just checked my daughter and she is tongue tied too but to a much less degree. I started on a organic non fast non processed diet right around the time I got pregnant with my son and have maintained that. Both my sister's boys bed we till their were in their teens. All my mom's side of family has hypertension. My son's father has sleep apnea, I suspect I do (always tired) and I have chronic allergies and anxiety. Hmmmmm. Has anyone had a tongue tie cut done as late at 11?

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  19. I just found out my 10yo has a lip tie. She nursed fine and doesn't get cavities in front any more than her sister who doesn't have it. However, due to the huge gap in her teeth, one of the front teeth is now turning and then pushing in one of the bottom teeth. So now, at 10 years old, I'm looking into getting this resolved for her. I wished I'd known earlier. It would have been MUCH easier.

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  20. I have heard that this a manifestation of methylation defects. High arched palates are linked to genetic differences like Trisomy 21.

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  21. The photo of the lip tie is my daughter. I can't remember how it got online. I just got my newborn son's tongue and lip clipped yesterday, and my daughter, pictured above, had hers clipped two years ago as a 3-mo old infant. Thanks for talking about this! There's no question we will clip future kids as soon as it's discovered.

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  22. My wife had trouble breastfeeding our first two boys. She gave up after a week on our first. The lactation consultant at our hospital had just retired, so she had no support. I encouraged her to breastfeed our second and it was painful the first month and was told it was just hormones. It got a little better and she did it for nearly a year. Our third son was born last month and she was in tear when she breastfeed. The hospital L.C. said he was not lip tied, but at a support group two weeks later said he was. She referred us to Dr. Kotlow in Albany NY who uses a laser to remove the tongue tie and also his lip tie. It was a quick procedure with no anesthesia. It was only done two days ago but already nursing has gotten a lot easier for her. I'm sure once she and the baby get use to it over the next few days, she will be completely pain free. My wife, and our 2 and 4 year old boys have lip tie that led to gaps in their front teeth, as well. We will probably bring them back to the dentist to have the procedure also.

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  23. I agree with the previous poster about photos of what's considered normal. Is normal NOT having any skin attach the lip to the gums; the tongue to the base of the mouth? I've got both, have had thyroid issues (fixed with diet), braces, wisdom teeth out, tonsils and adenoids out when I was 5 because I would stop breathing while sleeping. I have a 5 week old and almost gave up bf'ing after the first week. The lactation consultant helped and now we're doing fine and my daughter is gaining weight amazingly. So how do I know what's severe enough to warrant a snipping? ANY skin attaching to the lip or tongue? or just a lot?

    Thanks for the info!

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    Replies
    1. I honestly don't know. The biggest thing is mobility. There are nearly invisible tongue ties in the back, where you don't see any skin, and there are "tongue ties" that are very loose and don't cause any problems. The first needs to be fixed and the second one does not usually, but from looking, its not always so easy to tell. The biggest factor is- flattened nipples while nursing? Tongue clicking while nursing, bad latch and inability to get a proper latch, and inability to stick out tongue.

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  24. Our youngest (fifth) child caused me nursing trouble, and I had had a lot of experience. He's now nine and has severe speech trouble. We have been told he does not have tongue-tie but I wonder if we should let this rest as he just had a frenectomy done on the lip, because he front teeth were spreading. He never sticks out his tongue. Ever.

    I have a high palate (was just told that this year!) and thyroid trouble. My lower teeth are crooked and cracking because the upper teeth are creating a lot of pressure on them. Should have had braces! A bit late now. And yes...sinus trouble...

    I wish we came with owner manuals.

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  25. I agree with the previous poster about photos of what's considered normal. Is normal NOT having any skin attach the lip to the gums; the tongue to the base of the mouth? I've got both, have had thyroid issues (fixed with diet), braces, wisdom teeth out, tonsils and adenoids out when I was 5 because I would stop breathing while sleeping. I have a 5 week old and almost gave up bf'ing after the first week. The lactation consultant helped and now we're doing fine and my daughter is gaining weight amazingly. So how do I know what's severe enough to warrant a snipping? ANY skin attaching to the lip or tongue? or just a lot?

    Thanks for the info!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I agree with the previous poster, photos of "normal" would have been nice. I almost gave up breastfeeding my 5 week old when she was one week. I think it was just a bad latch and the lactation consultant helped with that. She's gaining weight wonderfully too. I'm curious as to what warrants a snip - ANY skin attaching to the lip/tongue or just a lot?

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  27. my daughter had her lip snipped when she was 6 weeks.

    no one in the hospital listened to me when i said i didnt think she could open her mouth wide enough, or that her latch was wrong/bad.

    im still scared that she has a tongue tie too. it still hurts to nurse sometimes. and my milk supply is all over the place. for the most part, i had been feeling as if i had WAY too much milk. i guess i prefer that to the alternatives...

    but i dont know. ive noticed that it seems that no one can really get a good look at her tongue. it seems she can move her tongue around, so its not an obvious tie... but when she cries, the tip of her tongue changes... almost like a forked tongue. sigh.

    i really need to get this figured out! :(:( i dont want to lose my milk. im so worried about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If when your daughter sticks out her tongue, it looks heart shaped, like this- http://www.kidsgrins.com/images/TBBlog2.jpg it definitely is a tongue tie. Is that what you mean by a forked tongue?

      Delete
  28. I have 3 children. Just over 2 years apart. Not sure about tongue ties but I've checked lip ties. My 1st has no lip tie (I had a rubbish diet during her pregnancy and took synthetic folic acid). My next 2 children both have lip ties. However with them I took folate (the better form) and had a much healthier WAPF then GAPS diet and did eat liver regularly. So why have my younger 2 ended up with lip ties when my 1st didn't?! :-S
    Can anyone shed some light on this for me please?

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  29. I am really wondering on this. I have a family of 6 and we all have tongue and lip tie (except my daughter and she only has lip tie). So this isn't normal? My son who has both, breastfed until 2 and did great. The only ones I think it might be something that could cause a problem is my youngest two bc their lip tie seems to be making their teeth spread apart. Everyone seems to not be affected by it.

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  30. I really wish I had this information when my twin boys were babies. Breastfeeding was excruciating for me for months, and then I just ended up pumping the rest of the year for them. They ended up having significant speech issues, which we have been dealing with for 7 years now. They are almost 11, and still cannot say their 'R's. It impacts their academics greatly. We took them to a specialist to see if they needed snipping, and she would not support it. We finally saw a different Doctor who has performed this procedure on one of the boys so far. It was a huge production, needing sedation and costing us hundreds out of pocket outside of our insurance. Not to mention that his tongue was swollen for days from the local anesthetic and stitches. I went to a lactation consultant about the pain when they were breastfeeding, and no one mentioned the tongue tie thing. If they had, years of speech therapy and school trouble could have been avoided. It has been such a struggle since they were born in this regard. Thanks for sharing your situation, which sheds light on why my experience was so painful. No one has ever been able to tell why it hurt so bad to breastfeed my babies, and no one wants to white knuckle a blanket and writhe in pain while trying to nourish your little ones.... I will mention this to any new mother's that I see struggling with painful breastfeeding from now on... Thanks!!

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  31. Thank you for this article! I am debating having this procedure done for all three of my children (age 6 months, 26 months and 5 1/2 years)! They all three have lip and tongue ties. Even though they've all breastfeed (the youngest two still do), I am concerned mostly about palate formation. My oldest has a lisp and my middle sucks his thumb and already has crowded teeth (his tongue tie is the worst). My dentist can perform the laser surgery, but I'm sure my oldest will throw a fit...she is very spirited and obstinate! Any advice? :)

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  32. Thank you for this. I'm sharing it with my family.

    Our first never was able to form a latch, and our second we just found out yesterday that he is both tongue and lip-tied. With our first we had to resort to formula after several lactation consultants and doctors told us there was no physical reason for him not to be able to nurse. He just wouldn't. With our 3 month old, he didn't take to nursing at first, but once supply was in, he nursed great, we thought. But he had always been gassy.

    Apparently, gassiness for a breastfed baby is a huge sign of being lip-tied, since he cannot form a proper seal since his upper lip curls in instead of out. For the past few weeks, he hasn't seemed to be getting any bigger, and when we went in and had him weighed, he was below the 1 percentile mark, after being 40% for most of his other weighing-ins.

    Turns out that once the hormonal milk supply dried up, his lip tie kept him from stimulating supply or getting the last of the milk out. This meant that supply has decreased drastically so we are supplementing with formula until we can get supply back up to where it needs to be. With supplementing, he is going up again, but the road ahead is much longer than it would have been if we had been told what was happening form the beginning.

    We were told with both of our boys that they did not have tongue tie, but a few seconds after visiting this one lactation consultant she told us what was happening. I'm so glad to have a reason for it, and now we are looking into the surgery options around us. I may also have our 2 year old check on to see if he is tongue tied or not, because of the reasons you've posted here. He isn't great at his s sounds, but I don't know if that's normal for his age or not.

    Thank you again.

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  33. Just had my 9 month old daughter's tongue and lip tie corrected with laser and am wondering if I will see improvements in her food sensitivities. Did anyone with LOs with ties have food intolerances/allergies/sensitivities? I'm pretty sure there's a connection...

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  34. Penny, Thank you for this extremely well-written and informative article. Every day I'm asked "Why should I have my child's lip or tongue tie released?" As a myofunctional therapist, it's my job to evaluate tongue and lip ties and how they affect oral function. I'm trained to evaluate how the muscles and connective tissue of the oral cavity and face interact with the boney structures of the head and neck. I see the results of tongue and lip ties everyday in infants through adults in their 60's and 70's! I've seen children whose tongues were tied to the tip (complete ties) who have had complete inner ears rebuilt surgically. Can you imagine the pain and suffering these children would have avoided if their tongues had been released and their swallows retrained and made more effective.

    Airway issues in children are becoming epidemic. Breathing issues in children occur due to open mouth posture/breathing at night, many times because the mouth is open due to a tongue tie. The narrowing of the palate that you refer to is also a deleterious effect of tongue tie that affects the airway.

    Kudos to you for speaking Mom to Mom regarding this very important issue.

    Thank you,

    Michale Fetzik, BSN, OMT
    Orofacial Myofunctional Therapist

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  35. Do you see the last photo in the article, the one of the snipped ULT?
    See the tongue, flat in front, curling at the sides? Those are indications of a possible Posterior Tongue Tie!
    Was that ever checked?
    How you can evaluate your infant for a posterior tongue tie:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5opSbXvL7yQ&feature=email&mid=540

    ReplyDelete
  36. Penny,

    I am a dentist in Fort Worth, Texas. We see 2-3 babies every day to do lip and tongue tie frenotomies. Your blog is OUTSTANDING ! I have copied it and will have it for my staff and our babies's moms and dads. Let me assure you that you will be helping more people than you will ever know.

    Thank you very much.

    Smiles and Blessings,

    Stacy V. Cole, DDS
    www.svcole.com

    ReplyDelete
  37. high palates run in the family, i have had some, and some of my grandkids have it..it is important to take care of it early....one daughter needed braces afterwards, but the others just spaced...

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hello, I am Helene. This is my first comment on this page. ... actually I am sharing here what I just shared on FB:
    Penniless Parenting is a GREAT site for lots of reasons, and that is why I am sharing on Facebook ---
    but: how do you tell when you have a normal frenulum and when you start to call it "tongue tied"?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Frenulum_of_tongue

    (not on FB: e.g. -- does everyone have to be able to touch their nose with their tongue? How far out ought one be able to stick out the tongue? How do I tell whether my frenulum is normal?)

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  39. Wow, I had my son's frenulum snipped at 8 weeks after breast feeding issues. Turns out I was tongue-tied and never knew it. My mom put me on formula at 4 months because I was not gaining weight on breast milk i.e. not nursing efficiently. Then, when I was 8 years old I had oral surgery removing 4 of my permanent teeth because I didn't have room for all of my teeth in my tiny jaw. I also had to wear a sort of retainer for a malocclusion and before getting braces at the age of 11 I totally had a big gap between my two front teeth.

    ReplyDelete

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