top of page

Tongue-tie & Lip-tie FAQ:

What are tongue and lip-ties?

Everyone is born with a small fold of tissue (frenum, frenulum) that extends from the floor the mouth to the bottom of the tongue, but when this tissue is too thick or too short, it can limit the function of the tongue, and is called a tongue-tie (ankyloglossia). The same situation can occur at the top lip, resulting in a lip-tie. Recent studies have found that ties are much more common than was previously thought, and that up to 20% of the population may be born with one. 


Symptoms in Infants

Most often, parents don't notice the lip or tongue-tie itself, but rather the symptoms resulting from it. For infants, these symptoms typically present themselves during breast-feeding. While all babies experience some of these conditions on occasion, the number of symptoms, as well as frequency and intensity are significantly increased for babies with functional restrictions.

Baby's symptoms: 

  • Poor latch

  • Frustration when eating

  • Very long feeding times

  • Poor weight gain

  • Reflux or frequent spitting up

  • Frequent gassiness and fussiness

  • Clicking or smacking noises when eating

  • Dribbling milk out of mouth

  • Inability to hold a pacifier

Mother's symptoms:

  • Painful nursing

  • Blistered or cut nipples

  • Creased or flattened nipples

  • Incomplete breast drainage

  • Plugged ducts or mastitis

  • Inability to nurse without using a nipple shield

  • Decreased milk supply

Symptoms in Older Children and Adults

Sometimes a tongue-tie or lip-tie goes undiagnosed in infancy, and may not be identified until later in life. Even then, many individuals develop compensations that may mask the restriction. For those who are unable to fully adapt to the restriction, speech, feeding, and even sleep may be effected.


  • Lip-tie: Difficulty with (- b, p, m) "bi-labial" sounds

  • Tongue-tie: Difficulty with (- l, r, t, d, n, th, sh, and z) sounds

Feeding (tongue-tie):

  • Choke or gag often

  • Very slow eaters

  • Picky with textures

  • Packing food in cheeks

Sleep (tongue-tie):

  • Snoring

  • Unrested after a full night sleep

I see what looks like a tongue or lip tie, or my child has these symptoms. What should I do next?


2200 GAR Hwy, Ste 3a

Swansea, MA 02777

Office: 508-720-2121


bottom of page