tongue tie

Adult Tongue Tie

You are probably aware of what a tongue tie is if you have read our previous blog posts. It is essentially a condition that you are born with where your tongue has limited movement due to a shortened piece of skin which connects the underside of your tongue to the floor of the mouth. This is usually an issue that is apparent in infants; however it is also prevalent in the adult population. Many adults have gone through life with an un-diagnosed tongue tie. This may seem as an irrelevant issue; however you would be surprised to know just how many different symptoms it could cause ranging from social to sleeping and dental problems such as:

  • Inability to open mouth widely which affects pronunciation of certain letters and inability to speak clearly when talking fast or loud.
  • Pain or clicking in one or both jaw joints
  • Headaches or migraines.
  • Chronic neck, back and shoulder pain.
  • Increased risk for developing gum inflammation and cavities.
  • Mouth breathing leading to frequently dry mouth.
  • Sleep apnea which affects the quality of your sleep. You may be waking up tired often and have an increased need to take afternoon naps.
  • Crooked teeth

 A good way to test whether or not your tongue is tied is by opening your mouth to it's full extent and then extending the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth just behind your front teeth. If you are unable to do this, then there is a possibility that you are tongue tied and you should probably book an appointment with your Dentist for a full examination. 

Treatment of the adult tongue involves a procedure using a laser where the piece of skin restricting the tongue movement is released. At Pain Free Dentist Sydney, in the hands of our experienced clinician you are guaranteed to have a pain free experience. Post operative care involves performing a range of simple exercises for a period of time to prevent re-attachment and scaring. 

If you have any questions in regards to adult tongue ties or suspect that you may have this condition feel free to call us on (02) 9558 8988 to book a consultation appointment.

Breastfeeding and How it is Affected by Tongue Ties

There are various reasons as to why your baby is failing to breastfeed. Sometimes it is due to anatomical reasons such as tongue and lip ties that are preventing the baby from latching appropriately.

Firstly, tongue and lip ties prevent a baby from opening his or her mouth widely enough, and thus will result in the baby not latching onto the nipple properly and possibly chewing on it. Additionally, due to the tension caused by the short frenum the tongue is unable to protrude horizontally past the gum ridge/lips and thus it unable to protect the nipple from injury. This will cause severe pain and discomfort for the mother. You may also notice that milk is dribbling from the mouth while the baby is sucking. This is due to the baby’s inability to make a good seal around the breast with his/her lips. This can sometimes also be caused by the presence of a lip tie, which limits the mobility of the upper lip.

Inappropriate breastfeeding technique not only affects the mother, but it also affects the baby. The baby will not be receiving the required nutrient intake and thus will lead to weight loss.

To summarise, some signs and symptoms to look out for include:

  • Nipple damage: cracking, bruising, blistering, misshapen nipple after breastfeeding
  • Pain: most common symptom that a mother experiences. Painful breastfeeding is usually not normal.
  • Incomplete Breast Drainage: can be caused by various reasons which includes inability to draw enough negative intraoral pressure due to poor seal and inadequate use of tongue
  • Decrease in milk supply over time
  • Clicking sound while breast feeding (this is not always linked to tongue ties- perhaps you can consult a lactation nurse about the other reasons that cause this issue)

If you have any information or would like to book your child in for an examination please do not hesitate to contact us on (02) 9558 8988.

Pain Free Dentist Sydney: G01A, 570 New Canterbury Road, Hurlstone Park NSW 2193