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What are Tongue Ties and Lip Ties and How can Speech Therapists Help?

What are Tongue Ties, Lip Ties & TOTs ?

 

A tongue tie, also known as ankyloglossia, is a condition in which a child’s tongue is restricted from normal motion. Tongue ties occur when a strong band of tissue tethers the tongue to the floor of the mouth. Lip ties occur when an unusually strong or tight frenulum tethers the lip(s) to the gums. Tongue ties and Lip ties are often described as tethered oral tissues or TOTs. Tethered Oral Tissues, or TOT’s, can affect the way a child eats, sleeps, speaks, and swallows. If you want to read more about the basics of tongue ties and lip ties, please click here.


My Child is a Picky Eater, Could Tongue Ties or Lip Ties be the Cause?

Although your toddler may seem like they are not eating certain foods due to disobedience, this is not always the case! There are plenty of reasons as to why children may be picky eaters. A topic we get asked about a lot is the relationship between tongue ties and lip ties, and picky eating.

Why Can Tongue Ties and Lip Ties Lead to Picky Eating?

 

Because of the lack of range in the motion of the tongue, they may not be willing to try new foods as it can cause discomfort. The tongue must be able to move side to side AND up and down efficiently for it to manage foods safely. The inability to elevate the tongue, use the tip of the tongue, or rock the tongue causes a series of irritations. For example, as the child tries to chew, they are unable to clean the outer edges of their teeth, mouth, and lips. Lip ties can also affect feeding and contribute to picky eating behavior, especially among infants who aren’t able to create an adequate seal around a bottle or breast when nursing due to a lip tie.

Some of the signs that are often seen in patients with tongue ties and lip ties are:

 

  • Difficulty nursing & bottle feeding
  • Difficulty with speech articulation
  • Heart shaped tongue
  • Clicking/Smacking when bottle/breastfeeding
  • Teeth grinding
  • Strong gag reflex
  • Sleep trouble


How can Speech Pathologists & Feeding Specialists help?

 

We at Talk about Therapy specialize in children presenting with tongue ties, lip ties, and tethered oral tissue. If you are concerned that your child may have TOT, below are the steps we would use in assessing and therapy:

 

  • We conduct a formal assessment to determine the reasons behind your child’s oral discomfort.
  • In some cases, we will refer your child to a specialist to have a frenulectomy, frenotomy, or frenectomy. These are a group of closely related procedures which are used to correct the TOT(s) that are causing the restriction of movement in your child’s mouth (also known as a clip).
  • Prior to the procedure, we may begin to conduct some oral motor exercises to strengthen the muscles in the mouth.
  • After the procedure is complete, there are many steps to take for rehabilitation.
  1. We will help your child to relearn the function of the new motions in their mouth. This will be done through a series of techniques & exercises.
  2. We will target any speech and language delays that may be present.
  3. We will use therapeutic feeding techniques to expand your child’s food and texture palate.


Children presenting with TOTs can experience numerous difficulties with feeding and speech, which can be a cause of great fear and anxiety for parents and families. While interventions such as a frenulectomy, frenotomy or frenectomy performed by a trained specialist are the first step in correcting TOTs, as explained by Dr. Baxter- an eminent TOT specialist, Speech Therapists provide essential pre and post intervention care:

“Release of a restricted frenum provides a patient the opportunity for adequate lingual range of motion, but evaluation by a speech-language pathologist or oral function specialist is required to determine whether function is adequate for speech, feeding, and oral health. Many patients who present with tethered oral tissue develop compensatory strategies and poor oral habits that require treatment to ensure the improvement of oral function. Assessment and therapy by a speech-language pathologist or oral function specialist is necessary to ensure the patient receives the full benefit from the release procedure” (Baxter & Hughes 2018).

 

We believe finding a Speech Therapist or Feeding Specialist who is trained and specializes in Tongue Tie therapy is crucial if you have any of the above concerns. So even if you are not located in the Atlanta area, you can start by searching online for “Speech Therapy near me” or “Feeding therapy near me,” and we hope you’ll be able to use the information here to guide you in searching for and interviewing therapists.

What are Tongue Ties and Lip Ties and How can Speech Therapists Help?

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Social Reviews

Talk About Therapy - Speech Therapy IconTalk About Therapy - Speech Therapy

2323 Cumberland Parkway Southeast Suite 104, Atlanta

5.0 30 reviews

  • Avatar Yasiri Alanis ★★★★★ a week ago
    My son absolutely loves Ms. Rachel. He enjoys coming to therapy every Monday. We have seen a lot of improvement even though we are able to come once a week. Thank you Ms. Rachel for your dedication.
  • Avatar Desiree Marie ★★★★★ a month ago
    We were recommended to Talk About Therapy by our pediatrician and we absolutely loved them. Niti was extremely patient, professional, and understanding. Ms. Rachel was absolutely amazing with my child. Even when we moved 45 minutes away, … More we kept going due to the professionalism, care, and kindness Talk About Therapy possesses. Would absolutely recommend them!!
  • Avatar RaQuita Weathers ★★★★★ 2 weeks ago
    My son has been receiving service here with Niti and Rachel for over a year now and we are happy with our choice to choose Talk About Therapy for his speech therapy. With Rachel as his primary care provider, my son is happy to come to appointments … More and he’s learning so much from each session. We have seen a major improvement in his development since Niti starting seeing us last summer. We would em highly recommend this business for any parents looking for quality care service.
  • Avatar Shakita Thomas ★★★★★ 2 weeks ago
    I have one word that describes Talk About Therapy- Speech Therapy and it’s AMAZING ! My son have been getting services here for 7 Months with Rachel and I have seen a big change in his speech. From one word to making sentences. It’s just … More mind blowing ! And let’s not forget my son lovessssssss Ms. Rachel ! She is literally the best ! So professional, patient and caring ! I love the way she is with him and she’s always on top of things. I just want to say thank you Rachel and Niti for everything that you do for my son ! I highly recommend them !
  • Avatar B ★★★★★ 2 weeks ago
    Me. Rachel is great! Super patient with my daughter and she works with my late schedule. Highly recommend this company.
  • Avatar Erin M ★★★★★ 3 months ago
    We used Talk About Therapy for our two year old in early 2021 and saw amazing progress! He actually ended up “testing out of” speech therapy which is what every parent wants to hear. The owner was very professional and responsive to our … More needs. We would recommend this company without hesitation.
  • Avatar Melodie Keheley ★★★★★ 2 months ago
    Niti is wonderful! She help me and my son out when he had his tongue tie done . It was hard to do the exercises with him being an older baby trying to get in his mouth but she showed me ways to get it done without a fight. Thank you again … More Niti for the help!!! 🥰
  • Avatar Dashonique Fitzgerald ★★★★★ 2 months ago
    My daughter was showing early developmental delays at her 12 month wellness checkup. Her pediatrician referred us to Talk About Therapy. I was very nervous and worried about my baby. The owner Niti was very professional and helpful. She … More educated me as a parent as well. My daughter has been in speech therapy for 6 months now and she is saying a lot more words now and is much better with communicating. Developmentally she is far more advanced than she was at her 12 month wellness checkup. She also just started with a new therapist Bianca. I was very nervous for my daughter to have therapy with anyone else but Niti. I had gotten comfortable with Niti, and so did my daughter, but the new therapist Bianca is amazing with my daughter. Whenever I need to reschedule or have any questions Niti and Bianca are always available. Talk About Therapy goes above and beyond. They have helped my daughter tremendously and eased my anxieties and concerns as a parent with her speech development.
  • Avatar Britney Drometer ★★★★★ 6 months ago
    I’m really glad that we were referred to Niti for my infant daughter’s speech therapy. She was super helpful and accommodating. The exercises she gave us for our daughter made a huge difference and you could definitely tell that it helped … More her with feeding. I would recommend her to friends and see her again should our daughter or future children have any speech related issues. Thanks again Niti!
  • Avatar jamila bivens ★★★★★ 8 months ago
    I made the best decision by picking Niti as my son’s therapist. She’s pleasant and patient. She detected the cause of his feeding problem (tongue tie) and we got it fixed. He was finished with therapy within the three months he was given. … More We’d seen progress every week and immediately after his reverse. My son no longer needs a feeding tube thanks to her. If any parent is looking a speech therapist, I highly recommend.
  • Avatar Nicole Marie ★★★★★ 8 months ago
    I was referred to talk about therapy by my sons pediatrician. My son has worked with Niti and Rachel. Both are fantastic and really took the time to address my questions and concerns. My son loved going to his sessions and hated leaving. … More I highly recommend talk about therapy to anyone who may have concerns about their kids speech.
  • Avatar Whitney Brand ★★★★★ 10 months ago
    Niti is fantastic! My infant some began seeing her for feeding therapy prior to having his posterior tongue tie revised and post-revision. She did wonders with my son! She is very knowledgeable and patient (which is key when working with … More babies) and she fantastic at following up and checking in with us. I would HIGHLY recommend her to anyone dealing with the same issues.
  • Avatar Sarah B ★★★★★ 8 months ago
    We loved Niti! She helped us with my 7 month old’s rough transition to solids. She was patient and helped both with my daughter’s feeding skills and my comfort as a parent. In 2 months we went from her almost total rejection of solids to … More eating everything we eat (prepared safely for a baby, of course!). Definitely recommend Talk About Therapy!
  • Avatar Linnea Veazey ★★★★★ 6 months ago
    Niti is very knowledgeable and has been so easy to work with. She identified my son's tongue and lip tie, and helped us find the appropriate provider to get them released. I am an SLP myself, but I don't have any experience with … More oral motor function pre and post tongue/lip tie releases. We were definitely in good hands with Niti as she is a wealth of knowledge in this area!
  • Avatar Rachel Sandifer ★★★★★ 7 months ago
    My child made so much progress in six months working with Niti. She is incredibly engaging, consistent, and gave us so many tips and tools to use at home. Highly recommend!
  • Avatar Ashley Carlson ★★★★★ 9 months ago
    Niti has been amazing for my son! She was so helpful with exercises pre and post revision of my sons lip and tongue tie. She is patient, kind, and great with babies. She is also very responsive to any questions or concerns you have via … More email, phone, or text. I cannot recommend her enough!!!