What is Tongue/Lip Tie?
Lip and/orTongue Tie is defined as a thick or tight string of tissue called a frenum which effects and limits the use of the lip or tongue affecting function.
When function is not optimal, problems can arise with breastfeeding, feeding, tooth eruption, speech, and breathing problems. Tongue ties are very common, 4-10% of children are born with some degree of tongue tie. Adults with unresolved tongue ties can experience sleep issues, headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain and speech problems.
Symptoms of Tongue Tie
The following is a list of common symptoms and side effects that are correlated with Tongue and Lip Ties. Early detection is key. Our clinic evaluates and treats babies starting at age 2 days old. If you notice any of these symptoms, no need to panic, it may not mean your child has a tongue tie. For diagnosis and evaluation call our office for a consultation.
Neck tension • torticollis • Tension headaches • TMJ issues • Facial strain (especially in lips)
Sleep apnea • Mouth breathing • Enlarged tonsils • Poor sinus drainage
Gagging too much • Pickiness about textures • Chipmunking (piling food in cheeks) • Choking easily (aspiration) • Food falling out of mouth while eating
Articulation errors • Delays in initiating speaking • Speech fatigue
Dental, Orthodontic, or Airway Issues
High Narrow Palate (teeth not fitting in mouth) • sleep apnea • Bottom, front teeth shifting in or being crooked • Space between the top front teeth • Decay in molars (especially the furthest back)
Trouble Breastfeeding or Bottle Feeding
Persistently shallow latch • Clicking, chomping, grinding • Air swallowing (gulping, gas, reflux) • Poor breast emptying (plugs, infections, low supply) • Inflammation (oversupply, vasospasms, aching, nipple blebs) • Poor stamina (short frequent feedings or very long feedings) • Cracked, compressed, blanching, throbbing, or blistered nipples • Low weight gain or weight gain that declines after 12 weeks old • Blisters on the lips • Spilling milk out of the sides of the mouth
Release Procedure and Benefits
Our release procedure involves two critical steps that ensures an accurate, safe procedure and recovery.
The first step involves a licensed therapist that will verify the restriction is the tongue and/or lip and NOT the one of several muscles connecting to the head and neck.
Once diagnosed, the pediatric dentist will perform the release procedure with a low heat laser to remove all the tissue causing restriction. Often snipping or clipping the connective tissue with scissors can leave tissue behind slowing or prohibiting a correct healing process. The laser frenectomy procedure is quick usually lasting a few minutes. Utilizing a laser provides several benefits including precision techniques, faster procedures, and faster healing process.
Post Op and Recovery
Immediately after the procedure, our lactation specialist will be on site to help mommy and baby obtain an immediate post release latch and answer any questions about feeding at the time of the release. The consultant will offer special techniques for breastfeeding and/or alternative feeding options.
Each caregiver will be equipped with detailed instructions for at home care for a speedy recovery. This will include necessary stretch, exercises, expectations, and timeline for healing.
We also know that emotional support is as important as physical support. Our clinic provides additional support around the clock through our private Facebook group that is monitored by our entire team and support staff. We encourage parents to ask questions, post pictures or videos, and support fellow parents who are on the same journey.