I screen all of my patients for tongue and lip tie every day and I can tell you one thing……
You CANNOT diagnose a lip tie from a photo or its appearance only.
It is all about how the lip FUNCTIONS.
So how do you tell if a child has a lip tie?
Well first of all, it is VERY normal to have a frenum – that’s the bit of skin that joins the lip to the gum – and its also normal for it to be quite thick and attached to a baby’s gums.
As a baby grows, so does the bone and the teeth and this frenum tissue starts to look less and less thick and less thickly attached.
In fact, it starts to look a bit more normal.
If a child has a lip tie, it means that the lip is actually tethered by the frenum so tightly to the gum that there is difficulty with the way the lip moves.
The main impact early in life is how this can affect functions such as breastfeeding…..
But the good news?
Well not all lip ties are a problem.
And how do you know?
A well trained IBCLC (International Board Trained Lactation Consultant) or experienced health practitioner in the area of tongue and lip tie can identify if a tongue or lip tie is causing issues (yes you can have a tongue or lip tie that causes NO obvious issues at the time of diagnosis).
AND…..sometimes what appears to be a “tie” is actually a muscular dysfunction issue and not a tie at all.
NEVER EVER let anyone on the internet diagnose your baby or child as having an issue by a photo or a symptom.
This is a patient of ours – what some would diagnose by looking at it as a “lip tie”.
Yes he has a tight frenum.
Yes there is thickness and a deep insertion.
But you know what?
Functionally, this child was doing great!
Breastfeeding beautifully and having no issues with solid feeding.
So we will review things in 6 months and monitor and observe his function as he gets older….
And if it becomes an issue, we will assess and deal with it when it does……
If you are concerned about your child having a tongue or lip tie, give us a call on 47 55 20 55 and make an appointment.
I have over 10 years of experience in tongue and lip tie screening and diagnosis
and always work within a team of health professionals such as doctors, dentists, IBCLCs, Oral surgeons, Speech Pathologists, ENTs for the best long term oral health outcomes for my patients.
I am passionate about current research in tongue and lip tie practice and am an active member of The Australian Society of Tongue and Lip Tie.
I also train health professionals all over Australia in taking care of babies, children and adults with tongue and lip tie throughout the lifespan with The Australian Academy of Orofacial Myology.
Oh, and we are right here in Townsville.
*written permission given to share image