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What is Lip and Tongue Tie?

Tongue-Tie is a condition in which the thin or thick piece of skin under the baby’s tongue (the lingual frenulum) is abnormally short and may restrict the movement of the tongue tip or the body of the tongue. Lip-Tie is where a piece of skin under the upper lip (the labial frenulum) is very short or thick and is pinned too tightly to the upper gum that prevents sufficient flanging of the lip.

While ideally treated in infancy, we are firm believers it is never too late to benefit from the outcome of treatment.

What is the effect of tongue and lip tie?

Restrictions such as Lip and Tongue Ties can effect far more than the mouth. At different stages of an individual's life, different effects may take place. Please refer to the symptoms for both infants, children and adults from the list below.

While ideally treated in infancy, we are firm believers it is never too late to benefit from the outcome of treatment.

The following are some more symptoms we may experience:


  • Poor latch, unable to sustain a latch       
  • Colic & excessive gassiness
  • The baby often loses suction whilst feeding and sucks in air      
  • Reflux
  • Difficulty with adequate milk intake                                             
  • Poor weight gain                                   
  • A clicking sound may be heard whilst the baby is feeding           
  • Falling asleep on the breast
  • Extended nursing episodes                                                           
  • Unable to develop a deep enough latch
  • Early weaning from the breast                                                      
  • Tongue cannot be moved sideways                       
  • Tongue cannot protrude beyond the baby’s lips                            
  • Tongue tip may be notched or heart-shaped
  • Restricted mobility interferes with bottle feeding                        
  • Gap between the front teeth
  • When extended, the tongue tip may look flat or square instead of pointed
  • Difficult for babies to attach to the breast or bottle correctly as it is harder for them to maintain a good seal
  • Restrict movement of the upper lip preventing it from being able to flange or ‘pull out’


  • Inability to chew age-appropriate solid foods
  • Gagging, choking or vomiting foods
  • Persisting food fads
  • Difficulties related to dental hygiene
  • Persistence of dribbling
  • Delayed development of speech
  • Deterioration in speech
  • Behaviour problems
  • Dental problems starting to appear
  • Loss of self-confidence because they feel and sound ‘different’
  • Airway issues
  • Mouth breathing
  • Snoring


  • Inability to open the mouth widely affects speech and eating habits.
  • Always having to watch their speech
  • Inability to speak clearly when talking fast/loud/soft
  • Difficulty talking after even moderate amount of alcohol
  • Clicky and/or painful jaws
  • Migraines
  • Protrusion of the lower jaws
  • Multiple effects in work situations.
  • Effects on social situations, eating out, kissing, relationships
  • Dental health, a tendency to have inflamed gums, and increased need for fillings and extractions
  • Sensitivity about personal appearance
  • Emotional factors resulting in the rising level of stress
  • Tongue tie in the elderly often makes it difficult to keep a denture in place.

Any symptoms that may mean you or you or your child have a restricted frenum, commonly known as a lip and tongue tie. Don't worry, it's nothing unusual! In fact, it occurs in approximately 5% of newborns.

Visit the KIDS website for the full information about Lip and Tongue Tie and its treatment.

Contact KIDS to book in for a consultation for a frenectomy of the lip and/or tongue-tie assessment today!.

* Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

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