Signs of Tongue and Lip Tie

Tongue-tie (ankyloglossia): A condition in which the bottom of the tongue is anchored to the floor of the mouth by a thin membrane (frenulum), which may restrict the mobility and normal function of the tongue. There are varying degrees of ankyloglossia.

Signs of a tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) and indications for a lingual frenectomy procedure in infancy

  • Mother is concerned about it and feels the frenum is interfering with adequate breastfeeding.
  • Breastfeeding is a problem. One or more may occur:
    • Painful or damaged nipples while breastfeeding
    • Baby looses suction while feeding and cannot stay latched to the breast
    • Baby quickly becomes tired when feeding.
    • Baby has little or no weight gain
    • Baby is noisy when eating/sucking
    • Baby has excessive gas after eating
    • Baby has reflux symptoms combined with some of the symptoms above

Signs of a tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) and indications for a lingual frenectomy procedure after infancy

  • The tip of the tongue may look heart-shaped or appear square instead of pointed, especially when they try to stick it out.
  • The tongue cannot be protruded out past the lips
  • The tongue cannot touch the roof of the mouth with the tip
  • The tongue cannot reach the maxillary teeth to clean them off
  • Speech has been determined to be a problem due in part to limited mobility of the tongue.

Maxillary (upper) Lip Tie: A remnant of the tissue in the midline of the upper lip and the gum which holds the lip attached to the gum (gingival) and may interfere with the normal mobility and function of the upper lip.

Signs of a maxillary (upper) lip tie and indications for a maxillary frenectomy in infancy

  • #1: Mother is concerned about it and feels the frenum is interfering with adequate breastfeeding.
  • Breastfeeding is a problem. One or more may occur:
    • Painful or damaged nipples while breastfeeding
    • Baby looses suction while feeding and cannot stay latched to the breast
    • Baby quickly becomes tired when feeding.
    • Baby has little or no weight gain
    • Baby is noisy when eating/sucking
    • Baby has excessive gas after eating
    • Baby has reflux symptoms combined with some of the symptoms above.
  • Plaque and build-up or decay on the upper front teeth with a severe lip tie. The lip-tie may be inhibiting proper cleaning of the maxillary anterior teeth.

Signs of a maxillary (upper) lip tie and indications for a maxillary frenectomy after infancy

  • A very large diastema (space) between the upper front teeth may indicate a frenectomy if performed at the appropriate time
  • Plaque and build-up or decay on the upper front teeth with a severe lip tie. The lip-tie may be inhibiting proper cleaning of the maxillary anterior teeth.