When we think about oral health, the last thing that comes to mind is often its correlation with gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms like constipation and reflux. 

However, there exists a profound link between tongue- and lip-ties and these common GI issues. 

At Tongue Tie Institute, we believe in addressing the root cause of oral restrictions to alleviate not only dental concerns but also to improve overall well-being, including digestive health.

Understanding the Mouth-GI Tract Connection

The mouth serves as the gateway to the GI tract, where the process of digestion begins. Surprisingly, many physicians overlook the impact of oral restrictions on subsequent digestion. 

It’s essential to recognize that if the journey of food doesn’t start right in the mouth, it’s unlikely to end well in the digestive system.


Reflux: A Common Symptom

Infant gastroesophageal reflux (GER) is often attributed to swallowing air, a condition known as aerophagia. Research by Dr. Bobby Ghaheri supports this correlation between tongue-tie and infant reflux, demonstrating a significant reduction in infant reflux following a proper tongue-tie release. 

By enabling infants to achieve a better latch and seal during feeding, tongue-tie release can alleviate symptoms of reflux, gassiness, fussiness, and colic.


Constipation: Another Manifestation

Although constipation may seem unrelated to oral health, there are several mechanisms through which tongue-tie release can improve GI motility and alleviate constipation. 

Firstly, inadequate chewing due to restricted tongue mobility can result in poorly digested food, leading to constipation. 

Additionally, the swallow initiates the peristaltic wave that propels food through the GI tract. A limited swallow function, often associated with tongue-tie, can diminish this wave, thereby impacting GI motility. 

Lastly, tongue-tie release stimulates the vagus nerve, promoting parasympathetic activation and relaxation, which can enhance digestion and alleviate constipation.


Comprehensive Treatment Approach

While the link between tongue tie, constipation, and reflux may seem surprising, it underscores the interconnectedness of oral and systemic health. 

Although empirical evidence may be lacking, the real-world observations of improved GI symptoms following tongue-tie release cannot be denied. 

At Upbeat Pediatric Dentistry’s Tongue Tie Institute, we are committed to providing compassionate care and evidence-based solutions to promote optimal oral and overall health for children and adults alike. 

If you suspect that tongue-tie may be contributing to your child’s GI symptoms, call us and schedule a consultation with our experienced team today. Let us help you unlock the path to better health and well-being for your child.