It’s a word that causes even veteran parents to shudder: colic. No amount of experience, patience, or knowledge can prepare someone for weeks or even months of late nights with a crying, screaming child that can’t seem to be comforted. While colic tends to resolve itself with time, it can often stem from an overlooked problem—such as discomfort due to a lip or tongue tie. Thankfully, getting this condition treated is relatively simple, and it could be the solution you and your child need to finally relax and get some sleep!
What Exactly is Colic?
Colic is characterized by an infant having extended bouts of crying for seemingly no reason that can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. It is what is known as a “diagnosis of exclusion,” in that a child will only be diagnosed with colic after any other potential issue has been ruled out. Unfortunately, parents are often told to wait it out, as it usually resolves itself naturally.
How Lip & Tongue Ties Can Cause Colic Symptoms
Of course, many colicky babies don’t have colic at all, but rather something is going on that is making them extremely uncomfortable. For those with a lip or tongue tie (which means these oral tissues aren’t able to move like they should), they could simply be hungry because the conditions often prevent normal feeding. They also cause babies to accidentally swallow a lot of air when feeding, making them feel bloated.
Signs of Lip & Tongue Tie
- Baby has difficulty latching or creating consistent flow when bottle or breastfeeding
- Feedings take a really long time (multiple hours) and/or end very suddenly
- Baby is slow to gain weight
- Baby is very gassy
- The mother’s nipples are constantly irritated because the baby often gums them when trying to get milk
What to Do If You Think Your Baby Has a Tie
If you believe that your baby’s colic symptoms might be connected to a lip or tongue tie, the best thing you can do is take them to a pediatric dentist. They can find out if your child has a tie very quickly, and if needed, use a laser treatment to fix it. From there, your baby should be able to feed immediately without issue, which should hopefully cause the colic to go away.
Colic is hard on both parents and children, but if you have suspicions that your late nights might have something to do with a lip or tongue tie, then a solution (and rest) is much closer than you might think.
Your Friendly Neighborhood Dentist
Dr. Matt Strumpf earned his dental degree from Midwestern University and completed his pediatric specialty training at the University of Illinois Chicago, where he served as Chief Resident. With a focus on making your child’s dental visits fun and enjoyable, he offers a comprehensive range of services to children of all ages, including safe and effective laser lip and tongue tie treatment. To schedule an appointment, contact him through his website or call (651) 504-6749.