Tongue Tie, Lip Tie, and Frenectomy

The Smile Stop Pediatric Dentistry offers tongue-tie, lip-tie and frenectomy laser procedures at our office. Our team is trained to evaluate from the early stages (an infant) the proper development of oral tissues to ensure there are no restrictions of the tongue or lip’s range of motion.

When a lip or tongue tie is negatively impacting a child’s oral function or development, a simple procedure called a frenectomy can be completed to minimize the attachment and restore proper movement / function. Our team is able to treat tongue and lip tie using our state-of-the-art CO2 laser. This laser can be used on children of all ages, including newborns. The laser removes the tissue within minutes with little to no bleeding and much less discomfort. There are no incisions involved, pain is limited, shortened healing time and the procedure only takes a few minutes to complete. 

What is a tongue-tie and lip-tie?

Within the mouth, there are folds of connective tissue known as frenulum, which can limit the mobility of the lip or tongue. A tongue-tie (also known as ankyloglossia) occurs when the frenulum that connects the underside of your tongue to the floor of your mouth is too short or too close to the tip of the tongue. A lip tie occurs when the frenulum connecting the inside of the upper lip to the upper gum is thicker than normal. Both a lip tie and tongue-tie are congenital conditions in which the lingual (tongue) or labial (lip) frenum is too tight. This causes restrictions in proper movement. This can significantly impact the oral functions related to speaking, breathing, feeding, swallowing and proper oral hygiene.

What are the symptoms of tongue-tie and lip-tie?

While you may not always be able to spot a tongue-tie or lip-tie in your infant, there are signs and symptoms that may indicate the presence of an oral frenulum abnormality.

Baby’s symptoms may include:

  • Poor weight gain
  • Gassiness or reflux
  • Poor latch leading (fussiness, inability to fully open mouth, clicking noises while sucking)
  • Falls asleep while nursing / short sleep episodes
  • Unable to take pacifier or bottle
  • Chewing / Gumming or biting of the nipple
  • Clicking sounds when feeding

Mother’s symptoms may include:

  • Creased / flattened nipples
  • Blistered, cracked, bleeding nipples
  • Severe pain when your infant attempts to latch
  • Plugged / clogged ducts
  • Mastitis or nipple thrush
  • Poor / incomplete breast drainage

In later years, such as toddler, teen, or adult years, a tongue-tie or a lip-tie may display the following symptoms:

  • Inability to stick out the tongue past the upper gums or touch roof of mouth
  • Diastema – gap formation between the two front teeth
  • Protrusion of the lower jaw or other jaw-related deformities
  • Difficulty moving tongue from side to side
  • Difficulty eating certain foods
  • Poor dental health
  • Impaired speech

How does your office utilize a laser to treat a tongue-tie and lip-tie?      

Treating a tongue and lip tie can be done at the Smile Stop Pediatric Dentistry in a simple procedure using a state-of-the-art CO2 laser. Laser treatment for tongue-tie and lip-tie is referred to as a frenectomy – Our team utilizes laser therapy to free or “release” the frenulum from beneath the tongue or lip. The laser has the ability to focus energy at a very small target point and can be used for soft tissue incision, excision and ablation – the laser is very efficient at releasing and coagulating soft tissue with the least amount of thermal damage, little to no bleeding, and less post-operative discomfort. There are no incisions involved, pain is limited, shortened healing time and the procedure only takes a few minutes to complete.

What are the benefits of a laser frenectomy for treating tongue-tie and lip-tie?

If your child has a tongue-tie or a lip-tie that is impacting their ability to be breast/bottle fed, their speech development, oral structures, or oral hygiene, a laser frenectomy may be beneficial to both child and mother.  It is important to have a supportive team in place post a frenectomy – this may include lactation consultants, craniosacral therapists, chiropractors, speech therapists and feeding specialists. We are happy to provide guidance on referrals, if needed.

What are the stretching exercises after a lip and tongue tie release?

We will show you the stretches following the procedure. Additionally, we have included a video below to give you an idea of how the sites are stretched.

Hear what some of our patients have to say about their experience

Please call our office at 201-391-8516 to schedule a consultation and learn more.