- Dental Care for Children, adolescence and special needs patients
- Emergency Care
- Preventative Care
- Restorative Care
- Oral Conscious Sedation
- Dental Treatment under general anesthesia at a Surgery Center
- Laser Therapy
Tongue-tie and Lip-tie
The tissue that is attached to the upper lip or below the tongue is called a “frenum” or “frenulum”. This frenum can be too tight, which can cause restriction in the mobility of the lip or tongue. This can cause a problem in breastfeeding, pulling at the tissue by the teeth and cause a periodontal problem, and can cause speech/food aversion issues, poor oral hygiene with an increased risk for decay to develop. When this tissue is too tight, it needs to be evaluated by a specialist to determine if a release is required. Not all tongue-tie and lip-ties require release or treatment.
A consultation will be completed initially to determine if release of the tongue or lip-tie is necessary. You will likely be referred by your lactation consultant, chiropractor, or pediatrician for evaluation. If it is determined that treatment is necessary, you will need to get clearance from your pediatrician for the procedure. It is very important after treatment to follow-up with your lactation consultant. If release of the tongue or lip is necessary, then that can change how the infant is feeding and using their tongue. The tongue is a muscle that will need to be re-trained due to the increased mobility after the procedure. You will need to work with your lactation consultant to make sure that your infant is appropriately using their tongue and to ensure proper latching, feeding, and weight gain.
A tongue-tie or lip-tie can be released with a scalpel, scissors, or a laser. Dr. Thompson uses the most up-to-date equipment and prefers an FDA approved diode laser for treatment. With a laser release, there is very minimal bleeding, minimal discomfort, and low risk for scar tissue to develop. Your infant will be swaddled and wearing laser safety goggles to make sure the procedure is completely safe. You will not be able to be with your infant during the procedure due to laser safety, but the procedure will last approximately 5 minutes. As soon as the procedure is complete, you will be able to be with your infant and feeding them.
Please bring your infant to the appointment hungry so that they can latch and feed right after. This will aid in helping with their discomfort. There will be the most discomfort in the first 24 hours. Dr. Thompson will review stretches for the lip and tongue, and you will need to do them at home to avoid the tissue from re-attaching. There will be a one week post-op appointment for evaluation of wound healing. Further appointments may be necessary depending on healing. Please consult with your pediatrician on pain management for the procedure and dosage. Most pediatricians will recommend Tylenol prior to the procedure and for the next 48 hours.
Please note; we are a dental office and do not submit any medical claims. Please contact your dental insurance provider to make sure your infant has been added on to your dental policy and what your benefits are.