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Exposing the Beast: Lip and Tongue Tie

Posted by on Dec. 30, 2013 at 2:34 PM
  • 2 Replies

Exposing The Beast: Lip and Tongue-Tie in Our Children

photo(24)By Krystle K

I would like to shed some light on “the beast” that is known as undiagnosed
lip and tongue-ties. I call it “the beast” because it is a force to be
reckoned with on many levels.

Not just unknown amongst the general public, but even many healthcare
professionals are unaware of what lip and tongue-ties are and their
possible implications.

I know these implications first-hand and have documented our journey
through the muddy waters of lip and tongue-ties.


Lip and tongue-ties are midline defects. This defect is present if one or
both of the frenulums, the connective tissue that is located under the
tongue and in the underside of the upper lip, are extremely “tight” and
restrictive. This can cause many problems such as latch and speech issues,photo(14)
difficulty swallowing and digesting foods, tooth decay, TMJ, headaches and
much more.

I used to think the term “tongue-tied” was just a saying, but I have since
learned IT IS A VERY REAL THING! For us, it all started one morning while
perusing Facebook. I saw an article on lip and tongue-ties, and out of
curiousity I checked it out. I can honestly say Facebook changed my life
that day. Once I read about the correlation between lip and tongue-ties to
breastfeeding issues, I had a sneaking suspicion… I lifted my 4-month-old
daughter’s upper lip and gasped – A LIP TIE! I immediately lifted her
tongue – A TONGUE TIE! Off I ran to grab my 18-month-old; also lip and

I cannot explain to you how relieved I was. After experiencing every kind
of road block with breastfeeding – cracked, chaffed and bleeding nipples,
thrush, mastitis, clogged ducts, low supply and babies with reflux, colic
and latch problems – I FINALLY had an answer. My eldest daughter weaned at
6 months and it absolutely gutted me. The timing of my diagnosis was
perfection; my second daughter was having all of the same issues I
mentioned above. She was beginning to fight at the breast, crying while
trying to latch and having all sorts of troubles with gas and reflux.
“Breastfeeding shouldn’t be THIS hard” I would sob as we battled yet
another awful round of thrush or mastitis. I was at my wit’s end calling La
Leche Leauge, searching online groups, and eliminating as much as I could
from my diet. I was reaching out for any and all help I could find to try
and get on the right track to enjoying the blissful breastfeeding
relationship I had envisioned. So I’m sure you can understand why I was
doing my “lip and tongue-tie dance” around my kitchen. An answer, finally
an answer!

photo(16)As I continued to research, I found that their lip and tongue-ties affected
both of their abilities to latch, causing them to take in air, which led to
gas and reflux, which led to “colic.” And on and on it goes… Because of
their inability to latch properly, they were not emptying the breast which
manifested into multiple rounds of clogged ducts, mastitis, and thrush. SO
not fun.

As relieved as I was, I was also slightly annoyed that I could recognize
this so easily once I’d seen an example, yet my pediatrician had even
looked in my children’s mouths multiple times and missed it. How could he
miss this? I was told reflux was normal and my babies were lazy nursers.
What surprised me most was the resistance I encountered when trying to get
professionals to acknowledge or agree with this diagnosis. I was told by
pediatricians, ENTs and dentists that lip and tongue ties did not affect
breastfeeding. They were not only dismissive but would laugh as if I were
talking about mythical creatures.

This is where my mission became clear. I was going to have to do my own
research, decide what was best for my family and make an informed decision
without the support of the professionals. I got plugged into a great
support group and knew a revision (otherwise known as a frenectony) was the
right move for both of my children.

3 things are key to having a successful frenectomy:photo(25)
1. Choosing the right provider who is experienced with revisions and
understands this
2. Using a laser and not having it clipped with surgical scissors
3. Performing aftercare “body work” to help relieve the tension and keep
the frenulum from
reattaching. This includes stretching the site and getting
chiropractic or craniosacral

I experienced AMAZING results following my daughters’ revisions: we never
dealt with thrush, mastitis, reflux or any of our issues from that day
forth. Additionally, both girls’ two front teeth (which had considerable
gaps) drifted back together, speech was improved and BEST of all — my
(now 2-year-old daughter) began breastfeeding again for the first time
since she weaned at 6 months of age! IM NOT KIDDING! A few days after the
revision she asked if she could “have boobie too?” and I almost fell off my
chair. I have often asked her over the last year if she would like to nurse
again and she always told me “no.” To my surprise she latched on perfectly
and has been tandem nursing with her younger sister since. I asked what she
thought about having the ”boobie” again and she replied: “it makes me
Pretty awesome ending if I do say so myself.


by on Dec. 30, 2013 at 2:34 PM
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Replies (1-2):
by Ruby Member on Dec. 30, 2013 at 3:11 PM
1 mom liked this
Great article! Thank you so much for sharing!!!
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by Kathleen on Dec. 30, 2013 at 3:51 PM
1 mom liked this
I totally read this as "exposing the breast" haha. Anyway, thanks for sharing! So many people don't know about ties and they can be such an easy problem to fix.
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