Questions About Lip/Tongue Tie? We Treat Infants & Toddlers Request Appointment

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Tongue & Lip Ties Worcester, MA

The lingual frenum is connective tissue or fascia located under the tongue. If you lift your tongue, you’re able to see it. This frenum acts as an anchor and stabilizer for the tongue and is important for various functions, such as nursing, eating, swallowing, speaking, breathing, and sleeping. 

Your infant also has two labial frenums, one on the lower lip and a more pronounced one on the upper lip. If you pull your lip away from your gum tissue, you’ll be able to see the band of tissue connecting the lips to the gums. Typically, labial frenums — particularly the maxillary (upper) labial frenum — are more pronounced in younger children.

The function of the labial frenums is to stabilize the upper and lower lips. 

tongue and lip tie revision worcester ma

What Are Tongue-Tie and Lip-Tie?

Tongue and lip-tie occur when an abnormally short or tight lingual or labial frenum restricts the tongue or lips. Tongue-tie and lip-tie can cause many problems for our infant patients if they restrict lip and tongue function. They

  • Problems breastfeeding, nursing, or eating solid foods. 
  • Speech delay or articulation issues.
  • Mouth breathing or noisy breathing.
  • Sleep disorders.

A short lingual frenum inhibits tongue movement, making it difficult for children to speak clearly, chew, and swallow. Tongue ties can also lead to sleep disorders in some children as tongue function is impaired.

Learn More About Tongue and Lip-Tie

BabyLase for Tongue-Tie and Lip-Tie

We sometimes recommend non-surgical treatment for infants and toddlers to release the lips or tongue. Also known as BabyLase, laser treatment for tongue-tie and lip-tie helps to release muscle tension associated with ties and can increase frenum mobility. Frenectomy treatments that use dental lasers come with many advantages:

  • Less bleeding
  • Minimal post-operative inflammation
  • Less post operative pain
  • Quicker healing and recovery

Our goal is to make your child as comfortable as possible and reduce dental anxiety. At Children’s Dental Specialties, we know the best way to do this is to make every experience in the dental office as pleasant as possible.

That’s why we use minimally invasive procedures and modern technology. Such advancements make every dental procedure — including surgical procedures like infant frenectomy — more comfortable, so your child experiences less discomfort during and after their appointment.

Our dentist will perform a functional assessment to determine whether or not your child will require a frenectomy to address tongue and lip ties. Read about our non-surgical revision below.

Learn More About BabyLase

Contact Our Worcester Dental Office

Call Children’s Dental Specialties for comfortable laser treatment today at (508) 625-5534. Our knowledgeable pediatric team can expertly assess your child’s case and determine whether laser treatment can help.

Lip and Tongue Tie F.A.Q.

What Are the Symptoms of a Lip or Tongue Tie?

When there is a restrictive tissue connection in a child’s mouth, it can express itself in many different ways. Visibly, your dentist could identify minor cases of a tie when examining your child’s mouth during their routine dental visits. However, other symptoms could also point to a tongue or lip tie. The most common symptoms of lip and tongue ties include:

  • Difficulty breastfeeding
  • Pain during nursing
  • Clicking sounds while feeding
  • Poor weight gain
  • Fussy or colicky behavior
  • Excessive gassiness
  • Reflux or vomiting
  • Speech development issues

If you notice any of these symptoms in your child, it’s best to see a specialist as soon as possible.

What Causes Lip Ties, and Can Folic Acid During Pregnancy Lead to a Tongue Tie?

While it used to be assumed that high levels of folic acid could cause developmental problems such as a tongue tie, there’s no conclusive evidence to suggest this as true. Folic acid is often recommended during pregnancy to help prevent certain conditions that could affect a mother’s health. Research is ongoing to determine the exact cause of a lip or tongue tie, but the most likely reason is a genetic predisposition.

What’s the Best Method for Fixing a Tie?

Previously, methods of fixing tongue or lip ties were ineffective and sometimes dangerous. Simply “snipping or clipping” the tissue using a blade or scissors has a higher tendency to cause more damage or even the return of the tie. At Children’s Dental Specialties, we used advanced laser technology to break the restrictive connection. Laser technology is safe for children and babies and typically promotes faster healing and better results.

Can a Tongue or Lip Tie Come Back?

The tie can return if the method used to treat a tie is ineffective or if the release was incomplete. As the tissue heals, its natural instinct is to return to its original location. If there’s excess tissue around the area, poor healing may occur and it’s possible that the tie could return after treatment. That’s why laser technology is often beneficial; by fully removing the tissue, it’s less likely for the tie to return.

A tongue or lip tie can also return if the tissues and muscles do not receive proper wound care after the procedure. It’s crucial that you help your child practice movements with their tongue or lips to help the area heal and strengthen. While some children can experience slight discomfort during the healing process, laser dentistry typically prevents pain.

Can a Tie Fix Itself?

Unfortunately, tongue and lip ties aren’t something you can ‘grow out of’ or fix with at-home remedies. The only way a tie will release is if the tissue is released. Some children who experience physical trauma to the mouth (such as from falling off a bicycle) may have the tissue tear during the incident. However, this can often cause the tie to reform and even become more restrictive. It’s often best to have a professional treat a tongue or lip tie as soon as possible.

Can Adults Get Lip and Tongue Ties?

It’s uncommon for a tongue or lip tie to develop suddenly as you age. But many adults suffer from undiagnosed tongue and lip ties. Most older patients with tongue or lip ties struggle with speech and eating patterns. Many will also experience pain or discomfort in their neck and facial muscles. Treating a tie early on can help promote good oral development while growing up.

What is the Cost of a Frenectomy?

Because every patient is different, there’s no way to tell the cost of a frenectomy without an examination. At Children’s Dental Specialties, we want to make sure your child gets the care they need for proper oral health. Some dental insurance companies provide partial coverage for the treatment. You may also be able to get interest-free or low-interest financing through third-party lenders such as CareCredit. After your exam, we’ll provide you with a treatment plan that can help you determine the cost.