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What is Lip and Tongue Tie?

Although it is more commonly seen and treated in newborns, lip and tongue tie can also affect adults. Tongue tie is a condition in which the thin or thick piece of skin under the patient’s tongue is abnormally short. That unusual growth may then restrict the movement of the tongue tip or the body of the tongue. 

A lip tie is where a piece of the skin under the upper lip (labial frenulum) is very short or thick and is pinned too tightly to the upper gum – preventing sufficient flanging of the lip. While ideally treated in infancy, the caring professionals at DentalCareXtra are firm believers in the fact that it is never too late to benefit from a lip and tongue tie treatment. 

What is the Effect of Tongue and Lip Tie?

Lifestyle restrictions resulting from a lip and tongue tie can affect far more than just the mouth, including one’s ability to speak, sleep, and otherwise feel comfortable in work, academic, and social settings. When tongue and lip tie is not diagnosed and properly treated by a skilled dentist like those at DentalCareXtra, the person may experience a wide-range of effects at different stages of their life. 

What is the effect of tongue and lip tie?

Restrictions such as Lip and Tongue Ties can effect far more than the mouth. At different stages of an individual's life, different effects may take place. Please refer to the symptoms for both infants, children and adults from the list below.

While ideally treated in infancy, we are firm believers it is never too late to benefit from the outcome of treatment.

The following are some more symptoms we may experience:

INFANTS

  • Poor latch, unable to sustain a latch       
  • Colic & excessive gassiness
  • The baby often loses suction whilst feeding and sucks in air      
  • Reflux
  • Difficulty with adequate milk intake                                             
  • Poor weight gain                                   
  • A clicking sound may be heard whilst the baby is feeding           
  • Falling asleep on the breast
  • Extended nursing episodes                                                           
  • Unable to develop a deep enough latch
  • Early weaning from the breast                                                      
  • Tongue cannot be moved sideways                       
  • Tongue cannot protrude beyond the baby’s lips                            
  • Tongue tip may be notched or heart-shaped
  • Restricted mobility interferes with bottle feeding                        
  • Gap between the front teeth
  • When extended, the tongue tip may look flat or square instead of pointed
  • Difficult for babies to attach to the breast or bottle correctly as it is harder for them to maintain a good seal
  • Restrict movement of the upper lip preventing it from being able to flange or ‘pull out’

CHILDREN

  • Inability to chew age-appropriate solid foods
  • Gagging, choking or vomiting foods
  • Persisting food fads
  • Difficulties related to dental hygiene
  • Persistence of dribbling
  • Delayed development of speech
  • Deterioration in speech
  • Behaviour problems
  • Dental problems starting to appear
  • Loss of self-confidence because they feel and sound ‘different’
  • Airway issues
  • Mouth breathing
  • Snoring

ADULTS

  • Inability to open the mouth widely affects speech and eating habits.
  • Always having to watch their speech
  • Inability to speak clearly when talking fast/loud/soft
  • Difficulty talking after even moderate amount of alcohol
  • Clicky and/or painful jaws
  • Migraines
  • Protrusion of the lower jaws
  • Multiple effects in work situations.
  • Effects on social situations, eating out, kissing, relationships
  • Dental health, a tendency to have inflamed gums, and increased need for fillings and extractions
  • Sensitivity about personal appearance
  • Emotional factors resulting in the rising level of stress
  • Tongue tie in the elderly often makes it difficult to keep a denture in place.
  • Often associated with posture issues, abnormal head tilt and neck & shoulder pain

How is It Treated? 

If you are wondering how and where a lip and tongue tie treatment is done, we’ve got some great news. As an adult, all treatments can be performed in-office under light sedation. Dr. Hany, who has special interest in airway and breathing is our only provider for lip and tongue tie revision in our wider region , he has been successfully treating tongue tie and lip tie in adults using laser-assisted surgery for over 15 years. 

Tongue tie can be treated with a precise surgical cut to release the frenulum (frenotomy). If additional repair is needed or the lingual frenulum is too thick for a frenotomy, a more extensive procedure known as a frenuloplasty might be an option.

When necessary, lip tie treatment involves a procedure called a lip-tie revision, or frenectomy. This minor surgical procedure is minimally painful and only takes a few minutes.

Dr. Hany is the only licensed LASER user with the extensive knowledge necessary to perform these procedures in the Mackay, Isaac, Emerald, Townsville, Rockhampton, and Central Highlands regions – as well as surrounding communities.

We have a ull team of caring, experienced professionals ready to assist you every step of the way, supporting Dr. Hany at DentalCareXtra. We believe that many hands make light work! 

*Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

Lip & Tongue Tie Laser Treatment vs. Scissors

Laser frenectomy is a quick and virtually painless procedure that utilizes a laser to release the frenulum attaching a patient's tongue or lip to the rest of the mouth.

The traditional treatment method for years has been the use of scissors to facilitate the tissue's release. However, with new laser technology available, at DentalCareXtra and KIDS we are able to perform the same procedure much quicker and with less pain than traditional methods.

In addition to less pain and a faster procedure, here are some of the other benefits that come with the use of laser in frenectomy:

  • Less bleeding
  • Lowered chance of infection
  • quicker healing
  • Reduced scarring
  • Much higher chance of success and lower chance of regrowth

Call Us Today

Don’t let a lip or tongue tie issue keep you from being the person you’ve always wanted to be. To learn more about lip and tongue tie treatment options or book a consultation for frenectomy of the lip and/or tongue-tie, contact our office in Mackay, Marian, or Moranbah today! 

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