Infant Tongue Tie and Lip Tie
Chiropractic Care for Infant Tongue Ties and Lip Ties
What’s the Fuss about TOTS?
Tethered Oral Tissues (TOTS) can consist of either a tongue tie (ankyloglossia), in which a thin piece of skin under the baby’s tongue is tethered so close to the bottom of the mouth that its range of motion is restricted, and/or a lip tie, where the baby’s upper lip is restricted due to being anchored to the gum. Both tongue and lip ties often occur simultaneously. TOTS is a condition said to have a genetic component so it often runs in families.
A tongue tie and/or lip tie can be an overwhelming and traumatic problem for both mom and baby. It can cause an array of problems, from latching and breastfeeding challenges early on to possible future musculoskeletal, dental and speech complications. In some instances, there are no obvious symptoms and there are various degrees of lip and tongue ties, making them difficult to diagnose. And in the case of a posterior tongue tie, the tie is located deep in the mouth, far underneath the tongue, and isn’t easily visible.
At Well Family Chiropractic, we want to help you and your baby establish a good long-term breastfeeding relationship, ensure your child meets developmental milestones and help prevent speech and breathing complications. We are trained in identifying oral restrictions and can inspect your baby’s mouth for signs of lip and/or tongue tie. If TOTS is suspected, we can provide resources for taking further action and provide pre and post revision care.
Common Lip or Tongue Tie Symptoms in Infants:
- Several unsuccessful attempts at nursing
- A weak/unsustained latch, calloused or blistered lips
- A clicking sound while breastfeeding
- Favoring one side while breastfeeding
- Colic, gas or reflux symptoms
- Failure to gain weight/thrive
- Sinus congestion, noisy breathing, snoring
Common Lip or Tongue Tie Symptoms in Mom:
- Painful latch, cut or cracked nipples
- Bleeding nipples, severe nipple pain
- Flattened, blanched or creased nipples
- Plugged ducts, engorgement, mastitis or thrush
- Failure to bond with infant leading to depression
- Reduced milk production
TOTS Treatment and What to Expect
At Well Family Chiropractic, we are highly trained in pre and post lip and tongue tie revision care. If TOTS is suspected, we can inspect your baby’s mouth for signs and provide resources for taking further action if necessary. Generally, we will refer you to a lactation consultant and local dental specialist who will further address your baby’s needs and treatment options.
Tongue and lip ties are corrected with a frenectomy, a minor procedure to loosen or remove the frenulum tissue, thus allowing the tongue to move more freely and have a wider range of motion. But treatment does not stop here. To prevent the reattachment of tissues, it is critical that families follow post procedure stretching exercises and wound care, as well as pre and post cranial sacral and chiropractic care.
Importance of Chiropractic Care for Lip and Tongue Ties
Chiropractic care is important due to the structural changes associated with TOTS, especially in the neck, face, and cranium. The tension caused from the tethered tissues can create long-lasting structural changes to the musculoskeletal system, leading to postural abnormalities or asymmetries.
In infants, these postural challenges can lead to difficulties in reaching various developmental milestones such as rolling over, creeping or crawling. Specific chiropractic adjustments can restore proper musculoskeletal structure, which in turn will restore neurological function.
Our approach to pediatric chiropractic care for infants with tongue tie and/or lip tie is very hands on. We will perform a comprehensive assessment to locate areas of stress and tension on the neck, jaw, and spine. We utilize safe, gentle and effective chiropractic neck and spinal adjustments, tailored to the age and size of your infant. We will work with the inside and outside of the mouth to relieve tightness and use special techniques to improve jaw, tongue, and lip movement. We will also discuss therapeutic exercises you can do at home to help build a healthy spine and develop muscles for feeding and head control.
If you suspect your baby may have TOTS, or have further questions about chiropractic care for a tongue tie or lip tie, please contact us.
From a diaper changing station and nursing chair, to a designated kids play area and comfortable waiting room, we designed Well Family Chiropractic with you and your family’s comfort in mind.
Many important growth milestones and changes occur in the first few years of life. Dr. Lauren is a trained pediatric chiropractor and knows how to assess if your child is functioning to their potential.
Meet Dr. Lauren
Dr. Lauren is passionate about helping you and your family achieve greater health and well-being through chiropractic. Learn more about Lauren and why she became a chiropractor.