Tongue and upper lip tie – Bubba G’s story
I had never heard of a tongue (tt) or upper lip tie (ult) until I started reading about it on Facebook parenting pages. Bubba G did not have any of the symptoms that are commonly experienced by babies and children with these ties, but my Mamma’s intuition kept telling me to have her assessed. The symptoms of tt in babies include:
- breastfeeding problems
- sore and damaged nipples
- inadequate feedings
- trouble latching, sucking and poor weight gain
- excessive dribbling
- trouble settling
For more information please see: Tongue Tie – Guest post by orofacial myologist Rochelle McPherson
My friend’s baby had a severe anterior tt and she was referred by her paediatrician and lactation consultant to a dentist who specialises in tt revision (using a laser). I called a number of providers, but I was fortunate that I chose the dentist that she recommended. I called one surgeon who specialises in this area, but he uses general anaesthetic and I did not want to go down that route with Bubba G (however, this may be necessary for older children and for more complicated cases).
I took Bubba G to the specialist dentist (1.) when she was 18 months old and he diagnosed a moderate posterior tt and a significant ult. He also diagnosed a restriction at the alveolar ridge (beneath her teeth), which he revised at the same time. He used a local anaesthetic and while Bubba G was not in pain, it was harrowing seeing her so distressed during the brief procedure. Because of this, I definitely recommend having revisions done when babies are much younger.
Thankfully, she did not have any bleeding after the procedure and she did not appear to be in any pain or discomfort either. tt and ult have a genetic component and we discovered that DH had a significant tt, which he also had revised via laser. As an adult, he was in significant pain and discomfort after the revision.
We decided not to revise the ult because Bubba G was so distressed, and it can be revised when she is around 6 (before her adult teeth come through). I spoke to my dentist Anthony Ancell (the creator of Ortho-Postural Dentistry) about Bubba G’s revision and he agreed that waiting until she is 6 is advisable. He also mentioned that he works with an Orofacial Myologist – Rochelle McPherson and that she told him that she sees a lot of tt and ult revisions that have been done poorly. Armed with this new information, I made an appointment with Rochelle to have Bubba G assessed.
I was relieved that Rochelle told us the following:
- Bubba G’s revision has been done well.
- Many providers miss ties at the alveolar ridge (but our provider had correctly revised this tie).
- That Baby Led Weaning (which we did with Bubba G) is the best approach for the introduction of solids.
This is the advice that she gave us when looking for a provider to correct tt and ult:
- Choose someone who has a lot of experience doing laser revisions (and someone who does them frequently).
- Choose a provider with the larger and more expensive laser (our revision cost a lot more than revisions done by other providers but I am ok with that, because our provider meets all of Rochelle’s criteria and he did a great job)!
Please send me an email if you would like a recommendation for a provider in Sydney.
With love and light