How a Tongue-Tie or Lip Tie Can Impact Your Child’s Feeding Skills

My name is Amanda McDaniel and I’m a pediatric speech language pathologist at Building Futures Pediatric Therapy. Today, let’s talk about tongue ties, what they are and how they can affect your child’s swallowing development.

What Is a Tongue-Tie or Lip-Tie?

A tongue- or lip-tie occurs when the frenulum or the tissue connecting the gums to the lip or the tongue to the floor of the mouth are too tight. This restriction causes reduced range of motion that can be problematic for feeding and swallowing development. For infants, this restriction can look like difficulty latching to a breast or bottle or difficulty swallowing. This can be problematic because it can affect their ability to get the necessary nutrition needed to gain weight.

What Are Signs of a Tongue-Tie or Lip-Tie?

Some tongue or lip-ties are visible and sometimes they’re invisible. Visible signs of a tongue-tie include inability to stick out the tongue or a heart shaped tongue. Invisible signs of tongue-tie can include, but are not limited to, fussiness, frustration when feeding or swallowing, gassiness, inability to latch, inability to maintain a latch or frequent attempts to relatch or loss of milk when attempting to feed. For older children, this might look like difficulty chewing some textures or difficulty producing some sounds which can affect their articulation.

Is Surgery the Only Cure for a Tongue-Tie or Lip-Tie?

Not all tongue-ties require a surgical procedure for intervention. If you have questions about if your child may have a tongue or lip-tie, give us a call and we can assess their functional feeding development as well as their articulation and work with you to determine the best course of action. If surgery is necessary, our team will work with you and your child, both pre- and post-surgical care, to ensure that the tie is both fully and successfully corrected and your child is able to have functional feeding and swallowing development.

Contact Building Futures for More Information

If you have any concerns about your child’s feeding or swallowing development, give us a call in Monroe at (318) 388-8414 or in Ruston at (318) 255-7550).  We’re happy to answer any questions that you might have.

2 thoughts on “How a Tongue-Tie or Lip Tie Can Impact Your Child’s Feeding Skills

  1. Heather Horton says:

    We worked with Amanda for both pre and post-operative therapy with my little one’s lip and tongue ties. She was so helpful, and I can’t recommend enough that EVERYONE who is taking their child for a frenectomy should definitely start therapy pre-op and then continue it post-op. I felt well prepared for the procedure and I think it really helped my son to have a successful experience.

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