What is Lip & Tongue-Tie? – Arlington Heights, IL

Understanding the Problem

Both of the lips as well as the tongue are connected to small bands of tissue called frenulums (or frenums or frena—these terms refer to the same thing). During the last few weeks of gestation, these are supposed to loosen and lengthen to allow the mouth to move properly, but sometimes this doesn’t happen. As a result, the bands of tissue can restrict the movement of the lips and tongue, leading to all sorts of problems, particularly when it comes to breastfeeding.

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What Causes Lip & Tongue-Ties?

Lip and Tongue Ties are congenital conditions (meaning the child is born with it) where a child’s tongue remains attached to the bottom (floor) of their mouth. This happens when the thin strip of tissue (frenum) connecting the tongue and the floor of the mouth is shorter than normal. While it’s unclear why this happens, anecdotal evidence points to heredity as several documented cases of families with multiple members who’ve had lip and tongues exist.