What you need to know
Anterior and Posterior Tongue Ties
What is the difference between an anterior tongue tie and a posterior tongue tie?
Anterior tongue ties
This tie is easy to visualize because it is located closer to the baby’s gums when they lift their tongue, and it looks like a distinct string that’s tethered between the floor of the mouth and the bottom of the tongue.
Posterior tongue ties
This tie is located much deeper in the mouth and not as easy to see. This a result of being hidden under the mucous membrane of the mouth. We evaluate this by manually lifting the baby’s tongue and doing a sweep with a finger. Poor diagnosis of a posterior tongue tie is very common because of its location and inability to see it. Clinicians sometimes release the anterior tongue tie without assessing the posterior portion, leading to incomplete symptom relief for the mom and the baby.
Anterior and posterior tongue ties share the same symptoms. It is very important to assess both when considering a frenectomy.
What is a Lip Tie?
Many infants with a tongue tie also have a lip tie. A lip tie, aka labial frenulum, is an abnormally tight membrane attaching their upper(or lower) lip to their upper(or lower) gums.
This condition may cause babies to have:
- difficulty flanging their lips properly to feed and creating a good seal at the breast
- excess intake of air during breastfeeding resulting in painful gas
- maternal pain during breastfeeding
- lip tie may also cause a diastema (gap between the teeth) later in child’s development