Signs Your Baby May Have Tethered Oral Tissues

As a new parent, it is natural to worry about every little detail of your baby's health. From their feeding habits to their sleep patterns, you are constantly on the lookout for any signs of distress or discomfort. One such concern that often flies under the radar is tethered oral tissues. This term is used to describe a condition where the thin pieces of skin connecting the baby's lips, cheeks and tongue to their mouth are shorter, thicker, or tighter than usual. The three main types of tethered oral tissues are tongue ties (ankyloglossia), lip ties, and buccal ties.


Tethered oral tissues can lead to various problems in babies, ranging from feeding difficulties to speech issues later in life. However, the condition often goes undiagnosed because the symptoms can be subtle and easily overlooked. As parents, it is crucial to educate ourselves about this condition, its causes, signs, potential complications, treatment options, and the role of chiropractic care in managing it.



Causes of Tethered Oral Tissues in Babies


The exact causes of tethered oral tissues are still not fully understood. However, some researchers believe that genetic factors may play a role. If either parent had a tongue tie or lip tie, their baby is more likely to have one as well. 


Despite the lack of definitive answers about the causes of tethered oral tissues, the importance of early detection and treatment cannot be overstated. The sooner the condition is identified and addressed, the better the outcome for the baby.



Common Signs Your Baby May Have Tethered Oral Tissues


Recognizing the signs of tethered oral tissues in your baby can be challenging, especially if you are a new parent. However, being aware of certain symptoms can help you identify potential issues early on. Some of the most common signs include difficulties with breastfeeding, such as a poor latch, clicking noises during feeding, or your baby seeming unsatisfied after feeds.


Your baby may also show signs of discomfort or distress, like excessive fussiness, reflux, or difficulty sleeping. In some cases, you might notice physical signs such as a heart-shaped or forked tongue, a tight upper lip that doesn't flange out during feeding, or a noticeable frenulum under the tongue or upper lip.



Potential Complications of Untreated Tethered Oral Tissues


If left untreated, tethered oral tissues can lead to a number of complications. In the short term, these can include feeding difficulties that may result in inadequate weight gain or failure to thrive. Some babies may also experience frequent episodes of choking or gagging during feeds, which can be distressing for both the baby and the parent.


Long-term complications can include speech and dental issues. Restricted tongue movement can affect the baby's ability to form certain sounds correctly, potentially leading to speech delays or disorders. Additionally, a lip tie can cause a gap between the front teeth and increase the risk of tooth decay.


Untreated tethered oral tissues can also impact your baby's social and emotional development. For example, difficulties with speech can make it harder for them to express themselves, potentially leading to frustration and emotional distress.



Treatment Options for Tethered Oral Tissues


The treatment for tethered oral tissues depends on the severity of the condition and the symptoms your baby is experiencing. In some cases, a simple 'wait and see' approach might be recommended, especially if the baby is feeding well and gaining weight.


For more severe cases, a procedure called a frenectomy may be recommended. This is a minor surgery where the tethered tissue is cut to free up the tongue or lip. This procedure can be performed by a pediatric dentist, ENT specialist, or oral surgeon, and can often be done right in the office with a local anesthetic.


Another treatment option is frenuloplasty, which is a more extensive procedure that involves cutting the frenulum and then stitching the wound to allow for more tongue or lip movement. This procedure is usually reserved for more severe cases or when a frenectomy has not provided sufficient relief.



The Role of Chiropractic Care in Managing Tethered Oral Tissues


Chiropractic care can play a crucial role in managing tethered oral tissues, especially when it comes to improving feeding abilities and reducing discomfort. Chiropractors can use gentle adjustments to alleviate tension in the baby's neck, jaw, and mouth, thereby enhancing their ability to latch and feed more effectively.


Additionally, chiropractic care can also support your baby's overall health and wellbeing. Regular adjustments can help improve sleep, reduce fussiness, and boost overall health and well being. Therefore, even if your baby doesn't have tethered oral tissues, they can still benefit from chiropractic care.



Ensuring Your Baby's Oral Health


Tethered oral tissues can pose various challenges for your baby, from feeding difficulties to potential speech and dental issues. However, by educating ourselves about the causes, signs, and treatment options, we can ensure that our babies get the care they need.


The key to managing tethered oral tissues is early detection and intervention. Keep an eye out for any signs of discomfort or feeding difficulties in your baby. And if you suspect that your baby might have tethered oral tissues, don't hesitate to seek professional help. With the right treatment and care, your baby can overcome these challenges and thrive.


If your baby is showing signs of tethered oral tissues, contact Calibration Chiropractic + Functional Health at our Mansfield, Texas, office. Call (817) 779-3435 to schedule an appointment today.

admin none 8:00am - 6:00pm 8:00am - 6:00pm 8:00am - 6:00pm 8:00am - 6:00pm Closed Closed Closed chiropractor,3,,,, #2C6F8D #FF9912