Effects Of Non Treatment

About 5% of children are born with some degree of frenulum restriction, also known as tongue tie or lip tie. What it means in practice, is that they suffer from restrictions of movement. It impedes the movement of the tongue or lips to various degrees.

While children with a tongue tie have to contend with difficulties which may only be discovered as they grow older.

And adults have to contend with is very much the result of old habits of compensation for inadequate tongue mobility. The areas of difficulty spread to include social and domestic situations, self-esteem, the work environment, and dental health.  Thus it is seen that the consequences of unrepaired tongue-tie do not reduce with time – instead, more difficulties are experienced as time passes.

“Okay, but what does it actually mean?”…

For babies, that means that your baby might have problems with suckling efficiently at the breast or bottle, which causes compensated ways of swallowing. This may lead to nipple pain and trauma, poor breast drainage, therefore, leading to a decrease in milk supply over time.

When it comes to bottle feeding, tongue/lip ties cause incorrect function habit and increase intake of air, and often spilling and drooling milk. This will affect the formation of jaw bones and lead to exhaustion of your baby. Your baby has to work at least twice as hard to get the right amount of milk!

When breastfeeding success is not achieved and breast milk substitutes are used, optimum infant outcomes are reduced. This may lead to both short and long-term effects such as:

The following are some more symptoms  that infants, children and adults may experience:


  • Poor latch, unable to sustain a latch
  • Colic & excessive gassiness
  • The baby often loss 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 rising level of stress
  • Tongue tie in the elderly often makes it difficult to keep a denture in place.

So, get in touch with KIDS and our experienced and caring team will assist you with any questions and concerns you may have, and help you to navigate your way through the lip and tongue tie procedure.

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