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Frenulum are the cords that tie the upper lip to the gums and the tongue to the floor of the mouth. These tissues are used for controlling lip and tongue movement, but some infants are born with shorter frenulum than is needed. When an oral frenulum is too short, it can restrict the movements of the lips and tongue, conditions called lip or tongue “ties.” If your baby has this condition, it could affect their ability to feed and cause other development concerns.

Lip and tongue ties occur in an estimated 5% of infants. This condition may not be immediately noticeable, but it can cause problems. Infants with restricted tongue or lip movement may have difficulty latching onto a nipple, which is needed for feeding. As they get older, it can also affect their speech and dental development. If you can identify a tongue or lip tie early, it can be remedied with a quick treatment. The following are signs of a lip or tongue tie in infants.

Breastfeeding Problems

Infants need nourishment, and breastfeeding is the ultimate way to give your child the vitamins, protein, fat, and other nutrients they need to thrive. When a baby cannot latch onto a nipple, they can struggle to get fed. If you notice your child is taking a long time to feed or does not latch well, it is a sign that they have a lip or tongue tie. Not only is it frustrating for your baby, but it can also cause pain for mothers.

When an infant cannot breastfeed correctly due to a tie, the nipples can be affected. They may appear flat or creased. Blisters or cuts can form, which are painful. If not enough milk is drained, the breasts can become engorged, which is also very uncomfortable.

Feeding Disruptions

A tongue-tie can affect their eating ability, whether an infant is breast or bottle-fed. You may notice your baby is cranky when eating, crying, and fussing. They may make loud popping or smacking noises when they try to suckle. You may notice they spit up often, losing the nutrients they desperately need.

Weight Gain Concerns

If your baby is not gaining weight as expected and they have other symptoms of a tongue or lip tie, it is a red flag that they are not getting enough to eat. You should talk to your pediatrician and have your child checked for a short frenulum under their tongue or upper lip. A quick release procedure can fix this problem, which we offer at South Carolina Tongue Tie Center.

Tongue or Lip Tie Release

At South Carolina Tongue Tie Center, we provide laser frenulum release procedures at our facility in Charleston, SC. This is a minimally-invasive treatment that takes only a few minutes to complete. Your infant will not feel pain and can begin feeding immediately after the procedure. Contact our staff to schedule a tongue or lip-tie consultation or treatment.

Posted on behalf of South Carolina Tongue Tie Center

538 Savannah Hwy
Charleston, SC 29407

Phone: 843-654-0459


Monday - Thursday: 8am - 5pm
Friday: 8am - 2pm

Our Patient Reviews

South Carolina Tongue Tie Center

4.7 / 5.0

Based on 5 reviews

  • Talia H.

    Great experience with my visit to Dr. McPhearson and Carrie, hygienist. Dr. McPhearson is so patient, kind, and a perfectionist. She cares deeply that you have a great dental visit every time.

  • Maham A.

    I saw Dr. Caitlin McPherson and she is absolutely amazing. Not only does she make sure that everything is beautiful and functional, but she also treats every patient and their concerns with the utmost kindness.

  • Frankie W.

    Dr. McPherson is absolutely the best I highly recommend her and her team for all of your dental needs.

  • Phillip R.

    Everyone is so nice and they all seem to have good comradery. Mallory, Taylor, and Dr. Caitlin McPherson definitely know what they're doing!

  • Kyle A.

    The staff is always friendly & Dr McPherson does a great job every time!

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