What is a Tongue Tie?
If your child or baby has an unusually thick, short or tight band of tissue between the bottom of their tongue and the floor of their mouth, they likely have a tongue tie. This tissue band (known as the lingual frenulum) can restrict the tongue’s movement. Consequently, it can affect speech and make functions like breastfeeding difficult.
How do Our Osteopaths Treat Tongue Ties?
Both Yana and Joachim manage tongue and lip tie patients. We perform very gentle treatment on the muscles around the face and neck before and after tongue and lip tie releases. We treat tongue tie patients of all ages (predominantly babies). Our osteopaths refer all patients requiring tongue and lip tie release procedures to Enhance Dentistry in Milton. We never perform manipulation (cracking) on babies or children. Babies and children are only treated with very gentle techniques.
Dr Yana Haseya has a particular interest in treating babies and children.
Our Journey with tongue ties
Yana has three children and had faced significant trouble breastfeeding her first son Max. From the day he was born he was unable to latch properly. Midwife recommended nipple guards, which did help to some extent but over the next couple of month Yana has had numerous mastitis episodes and had to be constantly expelling and freezing milk. Unfortunately, at that time no one pointed out that Max may have a tongue tie that prevents him to have a good latch, and Yana was advised to cease feeding when Max for 3 month.
Problems did not stop there as Max was very unsettled and was later diagnosed with colic. When he grew up he had to see a speech therapist as he had trouble pronouncing certain sounds. It was not until he was 12 when his new dentist pointed out his tongue tie and he had it laser cut.
From his own experience he said he did not feel any pain during the procedure but could feel a great difference being able to move his tongue freely. He certainly could speak and eat better and most importantly was finally breathing through his nose during the night.
Joachim first became interested in tongue and lip ties when his eldest son Eric was born in 2014. Eric was a good-natured, blue-eyed baby. But from the day he came home from the hospital, he struggled to breastfeed. His mother, Melissa, felt intense pain every time she tried to feed him. Both mother and baby found this incredibly distressing. Eric wasn’t gaining weight and his feeding issues were affecting the entire family.
A worried Joachim and Melissa took Eric to a dentist when he was 6 weeks old. His dentist diagnosed him with tongue and lip ties. At eight weeks old, Eric’s dentist cut his tongue tie. He also lasered Eric’s lips at the same time. The procedure made some difference to Eric, but it didn’t resolve his feeding issues. Melissa expressed milk for the following 10 months. This was a big effort on her part, but not an ideal outcome.
Finding Out More…
Yana has completed a number of post graduate courses in the treatment of babies. She has done further study into the diagnosis and treatment of patients with tongue ties.
After seeing the distress and pain his wife and son experienced, Joachim began researching diagnosis and treatment options for tongue and lip ties. The tongue is a muscle. When one muscle isn’t functioning properly, the surrounding muscles compensate, changing their function. Joachim recognised gentle osteopathic treatment could help restore correct functionality to the tongue and the surrounding muscles, before and after tongue tie procedures.
When Joachim and Melissa’s second son Alex was born in 2019, he was diagnosed with tongue and lip ties too. His tongue and lip ties were lasered when he was 8 days old at Enhance Dentistry. After the procedure, Joachim applied his skills as an osteopath and his knowledge about tongue ties to gently treat the muscles around Alex’s face and neck.
The combined laser treatment (at Enhance Dentistry) and gentle osteopathy made an incredible difference to Alex. He started feeding normally and gaining weight at a significantly higher rate than the normal curve. In stark contrast to her experience with Eric, Melissa’s breastfeeding pain disappeared within a few weeks. She found she could breastfeed Alex comfortably and without pain.
Joachim didn’t realise he suffered from tongue and lip ties himself until after Eric’s diagnosis. Up until that point, he hadn’t liked the way his speech sounded. Joachim chose to have his tongue and lip ties lasered. This was partly so he could better understand what patients went through. Since this procedure, Joachim has noticed an improvement in his speech which has made a difference in his life as an adult.