What is a tongue or lip tie?
Connective tissues that limit and guide the movement of the lip and tongue are known as frenums. Frenums can often be abnormally tight and restrict proper movement, which causes issues with eating, speaking, brushing and sleeping.
Frenectomies are a simple procedure to release the restrictive tissue for greater movement and range of motion. We perform this minimally invasive laser treatment to provide this quick procedure.
Laser energy is sterile, which reduces the risk of infection. The laser reduces bleeding and need for general anesthesia.
Before and After
How can I see if my child may have a tongue or lip tie?
- Reflux or colic
- Difficulty latching
- Gumming or chewing nipples
- Poor weight gain
- Clicking noise while sucking
- Excessive drooling
- Choking on milk or popping off the breast to gasp for air
- Mouth breathing
- Nipple pain or discomfort
- Cracked, bruised or bleeding nipples
- Maternal exhaustion and depression
- Plugged ducts
- Infected nipples
- Mastitis and nipple thrush
- Engorged/unemptied breast
- Inability to chew solid foods well
- Gagging, choking, vomiting, or drooling
- Delayed speech development
- Dry mouth/mouth breathing
- Dental cavities and gingivitis
- Insufficient development of the palate
- Restricted range of motion of the lip and tongue
- Sleep apnea
Before your appointment
An exam will be performed prior to the procedure to diagnose if a tongue or a lip-tie is present. Pictures of the obstructive tissue may be taken for proper documentation in the patient record.
At this time, treatment options will be presented. You will be given ample opportunity to ask questions, so our doctors can address all your concerns. Dr. Kuba, Dr. Curtis, and Dr. Michael want both you and your child to be comfortable going ahead with the procedure.
During the appointment
A numbing “jelly” will be applied to the frenum and the surrounding tissues for the complete comfort of the patient. The doctor will perform the laser frenectomy to remove the obstructive frenum.
This typically takes 10 to 15 minutes. After the procedure is complete, one of our trained assistants will go over the stretches for your child and his or her post-procedural care instructions.
After the appointment
Your child may be sore during the first 24 to 48 hours of the recovery period. Please be prepared to manage the patent’s discomfort.
To prevent reattachment of the tissues, we ask you to be diligent about stretching the surrounding tissues. These stretches must be done three times a day for four weeks. Our doctors recommend reducing stretches on the fifth and sixth weeks.
Check out these videos created by Dr. Kuba’s colleague, Dr. Jaju!