At Kids Dental, we offer laser and surgical tongue tie or lip tie release for all ages.
Who is affected?
What is a tongue tie or a lip tie?
A tie on the lip or tongue means that the muscle cannot move to its full capacity because the ‘fraenum’ or the ‘tie bit’ is either too short, thick or just attached to the wrong place!
Why is it a problem?
In babies, a lip tie or tongue tie means that the baby cannot ‘latch’ properly, and cannot breastfeed or bottle feed properly. For the baby this leads to colic, reflux issues, sleepless nights and failure to thrive and put on weight. For mums – very sore nipples, pain when breastfeeding.
A minor tie is not always a problem, however, having the presence of it left in the mouth often leads to the jaws and teeth not developing to their full potential. Compare it putting a too-small shoe on your child growing foot all the time, it will cause pinching and pain and eventually, the child’s foot will grow either crooked or stunted.
In a child or teenager, a lip or tongue tie means they cannot move their tongue/lips cannot move properly. They will not be able to eat well, talk and swallow properly, and their teeth and jaws can grow ‘crooked’ due to this as they are all connected via muscles.
What can we do about it?
The most important thing is to diagnose it correctly! This needs to be done by a trained professional who has experience in seeing this, often with the help of a lactation consultant, post-partum midwife, or your GP. An examination needs to be conducted by palpating/ checking the mouth and all its muscles, and cannot be done by a quick photo/ check alone.
How we do it?
Laser tie surgery is a simple, often painless procedure, and for infants less than 6 months old, done with no injections/sutures. Older children/adults may need minor anaesthetic to make it more comfortable. Tie release surgery is a successful procedure, providing the proper procedure is followed before and after surgery.
a) For infants still breastfeeding or bottle feeding – directly after a tie release, it is important that the baby feeds straight away to ensure the the muscle is stretched.
b) Children/adults – There are ‘exercises’ for the tongue/lip that the patient must do before surgery and after surgery to ‘stretch’ the muscle out and prevent the ‘tie’ from re-attaching.