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TONGUE & LIP TIES

Chiropractic Care

Tethered Oral Tissues (TOTS) can consist of either a tongue tie (ankyloglossia), in which a thin piece of skin under the baby’s tongue is tethered so close to the bottom of the mouth that its range of motion is restricted, and/or a lip tie, where the baby’s upper lip is restricted due to being anchored to the gum. Tongue and lip ties often occur simultaneously. TOTS is a condition said to have a genetic component so it often runs in families.

A tongue tie and/or lip tie can be an overwhelming and traumatic problem for both mom and baby. It can cause an array of problems, from latching and breastfeeding challenges early on, to possible future musculoskeletal, dental, and speech complications. In some instances, there are no obvious symptoms and there are various degrees of lip and tongue ties, making them difficult to diagnose. And in the case of a posterior tongue tie, the tie is located deep in the mouth, far underneath the tongue, and isn’t easily visible.

I want to help you and your baby establish a healthy long-term feeding relationship, ensure your child meets developmental milestones, and help prevent speech and breathing complications. I am experienced in identifying oral restrictions and can inspect your baby’s mouth for signs of lip and/or tongue tie. If TOTS is suspected, I can provide resources for taking further action and provide supportive pre- and post- revision care.

Common Symptoms of TOTS

Chiropractic care is an important part of resolving lip and tongue ties

Chiropractic care is important due to the structural changes associated with TOTS, especially in the neck, face, and cranium. The tension caused from the tethered tissues can create long-lasting structural changes to the musculoskeletal system, leading to postural abnormalities or asymmetries.

In infants, these postural challenges can lead to difficulties in reaching various developmental milestones such as rolling over, crawling or sitting. Specific chiropractic adjustments can restore proper musculoskeletal structure, which in turn will restore neurological function.

My approach to pediatric chiropractic care for infants with tongue tie and/or lip tie is very hands on. I will perform a comprehensive assessment to locate areas of stress and tension on the head, neck, jaw, and spine. I always utilize safe, gentle and effective chiropractic neck and spinal adjustments, tailored to the age and size of your infant. I will work with the inside and outside of the mouth to relieve tightness and use special techniques to improve jaw, tongue, and lip movement and discuss therapeutic exercises and bodywork that you can do at home to help build a healthy spine and develop muscles for feeding and head control.

If you suspect your baby may have TOTS or have further questions about chiropractic care for a tongue tie or lip tie, please reach out for support! This can be a challenging time for the whole family, and I'm here to let you know that you're not alone.

"I met Dr. Shana when my first daughter was diagnosed with a tongue and lip tie and the care she has provided to both of my babies from birth has been phenomenal. From the very start, she offered reassurance that our breastfeeding relationship would get better and has continued to be such an incredible support for our whole family. The care Dr. Shana provides is expert-level and comprehensive."

—Sarah G.

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