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Oral Ties

baby crawling on floorOral ties, also known as tongue-ties or lip-ties, are a condition in which the tongue or lip is attached to the mouth with an excessive or tight band of tissue. This can cause a range of symptoms in infants and children, including difficulty breastfeeding, poor weight gain, and speech problems. Here are some of the key things to know about oral ties in children:

1. Causes: Oral ties are a congenital condition that occurs when the tissue that connects the tongue or lip to the mouth doesn’t properly separate during fetal development. While the exact cause is not known, it may be linked to genetic factors.

2. Symptoms: The symptoms of oral ties can vary depending on the severity and location of the tie. Common symptoms include difficulty breastfeeding, poor weight gain, colic or reflux, and speech problems.

3. Diagnosis: Oral ties can be diagnosed by a healthcare provider who specializes in breastfeeding support or by a pediatric dentist or oral surgeon. The diagnosis is typically based on a physical examination of the mouth and an assessment of the child’s symptoms.

4. Treatment: Treatment for oral ties typically involves a simple procedure called a frenectomy, in which the tight band of tissue is clipped or lasered. This procedure is typically done under local anesthesia and takes only a few minutes to complete. Following the procedure, the child may require some postoperative care, including exercises to help prevent reattachment of the tissue.

5. Prognosis: With proper diagnosis and treatment, most children with oral ties can achieve normal feeding, growth, and development. However, some children may require additional support or therapy to address any lingering symptoms, such as speech problems.

Chiropractic care can be a helpful complementary therapy for infants with oral ties. While chiropractors do not treat oral ties directly, they can address any musculoskeletal issues that may be contributing to feeding difficulties or other symptoms.

Infants with oral ties may develop tension in their neck and shoulder muscles as they compensate for difficulty breastfeeding or swallowing. This tension can lead to discomfort and stiffness, which can further impact feeding and cause additional symptoms.

Chiropractors can use gentle techniques to help release tension in these muscles and improve range of motion in the neck and shoulder area. This can help infants move more easily during feeding and reduce discomfort and pain.

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