A Parent’s Guide for Identifying Lip & Tongue Ties
By Dr. Brooke Bargamian Courtright
Fresno Family Wellness Center

How many families have issues with breastfeeding?

There are so many women who are suffering with pain, bleeding, mastitis, infections, failure to thrive with baby and breastfeeding, latch complication and the list goes on and on. So where does a new, or struggling mom, turn for help, where are resources in the central valley for effective breast feeding support? Well luckily our office deals with an array of breastfeeding and latch issues, especially when it comes to tongue and lip ties.

A few years ago I went to Dr. Yeoman’s office, in Bakersfield, hoping to find relief with TMJ, neck and upper back pain by having a tongue tie revision. Below is my update on how it went and how the healing process took place, along with the many benefits I have already experienced.
We are seeing a great deal of infants with lip and tongue ties, some associated with MTHFR mutations, what I feel mine is related too. Lip and tongue ties not only make it difficult for the child to latch and breast feed correctly but cause extreme tension in the mouth, head and neck which can translate through the whole body creating situations like colic, reflux, cavities, disturbed sleep and constipation.

Other physical markers are:

Mom’s Symptoms

  • Cracked / bleeding nipples
  • Mastitis / plugged ducts
  • Decreased milk supply/Failure to produce milk/Not enough milk production
  • Discomfort while nursing
  • Noticing baby likes to feed from one breast only

Baby’s Symptoms

  • Heart shaped / flat broad tongue
  • Inability of tongue to raise to roof of mouth / high arched plate
  • Stiffness/Arching of body and/or neck
  • Clicking when feeding / poor closure around the nipple
  • Refuses pacifier
  • Blisters around the lips

Currently, I am seeing a great deal of infants in my office for lip and tongue ties and am fortunate enough to be able to adjust and do body work before and after revisions. It makes a huge difference in the demeanor and tone of the child and creates a better bonding experience with mom and dad especially when breast feeding.
Tongue ties, if left untreated, in adults, can take the form of TMJ popping and clicking, gritting of teeth, head/ neck tension, anterior head carriage, problems pronouncing certain words (aka tongue tied), digestive issues (reflux, cavities, bad breath etc.) and the list goes on. If anyone is thinking they may have one or feel their child has one feel free to contact me and I’d be happy to answer any questions.

*********UPDATE ALERT*********

It has been about one month since my tongue tie revision and I wanted to share some feedback to all that showed interest in both adult and infant ties.
Overall I have to say the benefits of having the revision are amazing. I have little to no popping at the jaw, whereas before I had intense tension and popping at both TMJs. The tension overall in the jaw, head and neck has been decreased significantly to about 50-75% and I have noticed I am not waking as often in the nights with neck pain. I am also able to stand straight with little to no pain at the neck and upper back, especially when trying to extend the neck.

Pain levels are very low except for the first day after anesthesia wears off. After that I made a concoction of coconut oil and various essential oils to help with pain and healing times. The most useful was clove oil for purposes of pain. I would put one to two drops on the incision area and would have almost immediate relief. I have not had to take any Tylenol, Advil, or ibuprofen.

Treatments before and after included chiropractic care, Graston, massage, and cupping which have all helped to take the tension off even more.
STRETCHES are a MUST after, especially at the tongue to prevent reattachment. I would wake every morning with a good amount of scar tissue formed that I would have to remove, sorry TMI. Tongue stretches I feel were also more beneficial with a second party doing them as the pain can be quite intense but rewarding.
Overall as an adult I am very pleased with the results and now see what a benefit it can be for both mom and baby when breast feeding. I am becoming more focused with the tongue/ lip tie recognition and am doing a good amount of work on infants/ adults before and after their ties. For more information or questions on this topic please feel free to contact me.

*******As for my regimen of care this is ONLY FOR ADULTS and those who have spoken with their health care provider prior. Certain oils and care are not acceptable for infants, or even some adults, and that is why I have taken extra courses on how to help with infant care. Please speak with your primary care doctor before administering any medications, oils, and/ or body work as they may not be appropriate for the situation.


Before Revision


Before Revision

2 weeks post revision

2 Weeks Post Revision

1 month post revision

1 Month Post Revision

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