Pediatric Tongue Tie and Lip Tie Release Treatment (Laser Frenectomy)

What is a tongue tie?

A tongue tie is a tight band of tissue (frenum or frenulum) connecting the tongue to the floor of the mouth.

What is a lip tie?

A lip tie is a similar tissue restriction due to a frenum attachment from the underside of the lips, thus preventing proper lip function, closure and movement.

TOTs

Tongue and lip ties, along with others tissue restrictions, are known as tethered oral tissues. Tethered oral tissues restrict proper movement and can cause problems like breastfeeding in infants, speech in older kids, swallowing, and natural formation of the pediatric airway. What are some issues that can arise due to TOTs?

Nursing babies may have:

  • Poor or shallow latch,
  • Reflux and excessive spitting up,
  • Loud Sucking, Gagging or Choking during feedings
  • Colic and Gas
  • Poor weight gain,
  • Milk leakage,
  • Frustration at the breast

Nursing mothers may have:

  • Nipple pain
  • Poor breast drainage
  • Thrush
  • Mastitis
  • Poor milk supply
  • Lack of sleep
  • Depressed mood

School aged children may have:

  • Delayed speech
  • Speech impediments
  • Problems with facial growth and development
  • Gaps between front teeth
  • Restricted airway, mouth breathing, TMJ issues

What should I do if I suspect my child has a tongue or lip tie?

If you're concerned it's best to make an appointment for your child to be evaluated as soon as possible. The sooner the restrictions are released, the better both baby and mother will feel at feedings.

What treatments are available for TOTs that are causing issues?

Our doctors perform tongue and lip tie releases called frenectomies using a state of the art CO2 laser.

What does the frenectomy procedure entail?

Our doctors use an advanced CO2 laser to quickly, safely, and effectively release the tongue and lip ties without harming surrounding tissue. We work closely with Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) to identify the type of tethered oral tissue release.

Who is performing the frenectomy?

Tongue-tie and Lip-Tie Releases are performed by our highly trained, laser certified dentists.

Does my child need to be numbed for the procedure?

With our state of the art laser, pain is minimal. We place topical numbing gel for infants and small amount of lidocaine for older children.

What are the post-operative instructions to ensure a successful frenulum release?

The laser tissue release success depends on diligent stretching exercises. Myofunctional therapy is a way of retraining and strengthening the muscles in the mouth and must be performed before and after treatment at our office for optimal success.

How soon after the frenectomy will I be able to notice an improvement in breastfeeding?

Mothers have reported instant improvement in latching and with breastfeeding. Once your baby’s lips can flare around the nipple, and the tongue is free to create better movement, breastfeeding should be less painful for the mom and much easier for the infant.

We are members of:

  • International Affiliation of Tongue Tie Professionals
  • American Academy of Physiological Medicine and Dentistry
  • American Academy of Laser Dentistry
  • Ambassador for the Breathe Institute

Where can I read more about breastfeeding and tongue ties?

More information on breastfeeding, tongue and lip-ties can be found from La Leche League.

Please contact our office if you'd like to speak with one of our doctors about your child's needs.

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