What is a tongue tie?

A tongue tie or ankyloglossia occurs when there is an abnormal band of thick tissue, also known as the frenum, which is located below the tongue.

How does a tongue tie affect feeding of newborn babies?

A tongue tie can prevent the tongue from having the full range of motion and therefore leading to feeding problems. This is considered a developmental problem since it arises before a baby is born. Tongue tie restricts how a newborn can nurse and can make breastfeeding difficult for mom. If the baby is unable to latch properly feeding can be compromised and pain often can follow for mom.

What other problems can arise from having a tongue tie?

Having a tongue tie can create speech difficulties, sleep, orthodontic issues in the future as well as lead to gum recession.

Is having a tongue tie pretty common?

Tongue tie occurs between 4% – 10.7% of the population. There is a genetic predisposition as well.

Are there different types of tongue tie?

Anterior Tongue Tie

Yes, there are two primary forms of tongue ties anterior and posterior. When the frenum has limited tongue movement it is considered a partial ankyloglossia. This is known as an anterior tongue tie. Often, one can see an anterior tongue tie since it appears as a thin band of tissue under the tongue.

Posterior Tongue Tie

However, if the tongue appears to be fused to the floor of the mouth it is then considered to be a total ankyloglossia. This is known as a posterior tongue tie. Posterior tongue ties are much harder to visualize. The tongue has to be elevated from the floor of the mouth in order to diagnose a posterior tongue tie.

What is a lip tie?

An upper lip tie is present when the upper lip is lifted and the band of connective tissue (frenum) is tight, causing the gums to blanch (turn white). There are four classifications for lip tie, ranging from mild (Class 1) to severe (Class 4)

How does a lip tie affect a baby?

Lip ties can be associated with breastfeeding difficulties in infants. They can be associated dental caries due to interference with proper oral hygiene. Moreover, they can also be associated with the gum recession depending on the extent of the lip tie.

How are tongue and lip ties treated?

Today, pediatric dentists, ENTS as well as some physicians trained in treating tongue tie and lip ties can perform this procedure in an outpatient setting, using a laser. With using a laser, there is significantly less pain, minimal bleeding, and most likely sutures are not needed. This allows for fast healing and the benefits are seen almost instantly. This form of treatment usually requires using just a numbing anesthetic such as topical and occasionally a local anesthetic can be used!!

How long does the procedure take?

The procedure is super quick and usually takes less than 10 minutes from start to finish. Furthermore mom can nurse right after.

What happens after the procedure?

In order to get the beat results and to ensure healing occurs properly , parents or caregivers need to complete the post treatment stretches with their baby which you will be instructed to perform.

What about older children or adults?

Older children and adults can also benefit from lip tie and tongue tie correction. There are many benefits from better oral hygiene to less orthodontic severity especially from lip tie treatment, and can help with speech as well!!!

If your child is showing signs of a lip or toungue tie please contact Dr. Fatina Shtivelman at Gramercy Kids Smiles!! We will do a comprehensive evaluation to see if your child will be a good candidate for laser treatment!! Dr. Fatina’s son also was born with a lip/ toungue tie which led to many issues with nursing, feeding as well as speech. Seeing first hand the benefits of having this simple procedure inspired her to receive lots of laser training to help other families. Knowing the benefits of such a easy procedure Dr. Fatina would love to partner with you to help your family if you are having difficulties with nursing, feeding, or speech difficulties.

If your interested in scheduling an appointment please click below !!!!