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Tongue Tie (Ankyloglossia) & Lip Tie in Infants (Babies)
Lip Tie and Tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) is a condition at birth that restricts the movement of the upper lip or tongue.

Tongue-tie or Lip-tie happens when the band of tissue that attaches the tongue to the bottom of the mouth or lip to the upper jaw does not separate before birth.  

Tongue Tie

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Normal Tongue Position

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Tongue-tie and Lip Tie can affect an infant’s oral development if left untreated. It also affects the way the child eats, speaks, and swallows.  For the mother, it can cause breastfeeding issues.


  • cracked, blistered, bleeding nipples

  • plugged ducts

  • discomfort while nursing

  • sleep deprivation (because baby is not able to nurse efficiently they may compensate by nursing more often and/or longer, including at night)

  • thrush

  • mastitis

  • compromised milk supply


  • reflux or colic

  • difficulty latching

  • gumming or chewing nipples

  • gassy

  • poor weight gain

  • clicking noises while suckling

  • excessive drooling

  • chocking on milk or popping off breast to gasp for air

  • difficulty lifting the tongue to the upper teeth or moving the tongue from side to side

  • trouble sticking out the tongue past the lower front teeth

  • A tongue that appears notched or heart-shaped when stuck out


Breastfeeding problems

  • Breastfeeding requires a baby to keep his or her tongue over the lower gum while sucking. If unable to move the tongue or keep it in the right position, the baby might chew instead of suck on the nipple. This can cause significant nipple pain and interfere with a baby’s ability to get breast milk. Ultimately, poor breastfeeding can lead to inadequate nutrition and failure to thrive.

Speech difficulties

  • Tongue-tie can interfere with the ability to make certain sounds — such as “t,” “d,” “z,” “s,” “th” and “l.”

  • It can be especially challenging to roll an “r.”

Bite Problems, Flaring of Teeth and Gaps between Teeth

  • Tongue-tie can also lead to the formation of:

    • a gap or space between the teeth

    • flaring of the teeth

    • bite problems

Underdeveloped Jaw Bones

  • Tongue-tie can interfere with proper airway and facial development (crossbite, anterior open bite, unilateral crossbite)

Challenges with other oral activities & Poor Oral Hygiene

  • Tongue-tie can interfere with activities such as licking an ice cream cone, licking the lips, kissing, or playing a wind instrument.

  • For an older child or adult, tongue-tie can make it difficult to sweep food debris from the teeth. This can contribute to tooth decay and inflammation of the gums (gingivitis).


Tongue-tie and lip tie treatment is a surgical procedure that can be performed by releasing the muscle that holds the tongue or lip.  It is performed using either a laser or scissors.

If you believe your infant or baby’s tongue is tied, it is important to consult a lactation consultant, pediatrician, dentist, or doctor right away. Some tongue-tie cases are not severe, but only a doctor can help you determine the best method of treatment.

We work with midwives, lactation consultants, breastfeeding consultants, and pediatricians to treat baby and infant patients that have a tongue tie and lip tie condition in Milton, Oakville, Mississauga, Burlington, Brampton, Toronto, and the surrounding GTA.

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Babies who breastfeed and develop proper swallowing patterns and facial structure generally have more prominent cheekbones, less constricted sinuses, and a larger eye orbit that allows the eyeball to develop a proper shape. This improves the chances of good eyesight. They also develop far fewer ear infections.   Also children tend to see far fewer significant orthodontic issues among children who were breastfed including less crowding of the teeth, less misalignment of the bite and related problems. Children with deep dental overbites are 2.8 times more likely to have ear tubes placed.

On the other hand, the tongue of a bottle-feeding baby creates a strong vacuum against the roof of the mouth and at the back of the throat. This can form a very high palatal vault, reduce the width of the arch, and constrict the sinuses and airway.

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Tongue Tie & Lip Tie Surgery | Breast Feeding Problems

Tongue Tie & Lip Tie Surgery | Breast Feeding Problems

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