Little toddle boy brushing his teeth

What is a Tongue Tie?

A tongue tie occurs when the thin membrane under a baby’s tongue, known as the lingual frenulum, restricts the mobility of the tongue. It’s a common defect in infants, but for some, it’s so tight that they can’t fully extend their tongues. This can result in several problems for both you and your baby, including:

  • Difficulty latching while breastfeeding
  • Increased nipple discomfort or pain
  • Lowered milk intake
  • Gradual loss of milk supply

Fortunately, here at State Street Smiles, we can help.

What is a Lip Tie?

When a newborn has a lip tie, the membrane attaching their upper lip to their upper gums, called the labial frenulum, is exceptionally tight. This affects a baby’s ability to latch properly and effectively during breastfeeding. Lip ties often cause babies to take in excess air, resulting in increased gas and agitation.

Symptoms to Look Out ForSmall infant with tongue lip tie

The most common symptom babies will experience with a tongue or lip tie is difficulty during breastfeeding. Other signs that infants may show include:

  • Failure to latch properly
  • Insufficient weight gain
  • Coughing or gagging
  • Blisters on or around the lip
  • Gas discomfort or pain
  • Loud breathing or snoring while sleeping
  • Colic symptoms, like intense crying or screaming

If you’ve noticed these symptoms in your infant, contact your child’s pediatrician or trusted Hackensack dentist to schedule an appointment. We’ll gently examine your child to determine if they have a tongue or lip tie and whether treatment is recommended.

Treatment for Tongue and Lip Ties

If your baby has a lip or tongue tie, and requires correction, Dr. Eddie can perform a procedure called a frenectomy to improve tongue or lip mobility. It’s a safe and quick procedure that’s conveniently performed here at our Hackensack office.

Thanks to the iplus Waterlase laser, Dr. Eddie can remove the tissue or tight frenulum under the tongue or lip with utmost precision and comfort. Frenectomies can also prevent further health problems, such as tooth decay, speech impediments, and digestive complications.

Dr. Eddie is a board-certified pediatric dentist and Laser Frenectomy specialist so you can trust that your child is in good hands.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are lip and tongue ties common?
What are the benefits of the iplus Waterlase laser?
How do I care for my infant after a frenectomy?
Is a frenectomy painful?
What is the difference between a tongue tie and a lip tie?
Can my baby’s tongue tie or lip tie resolve itself?
Are lip and tongue ties common?

Lip ties and tongue ties are found in 4 to 11 percent of newborns. This condition typically causes difficulty during breastfeeding and may lead to further health problems. Fortunately, lip and tongue ties can easily be corrected with a frenectomy.

It’s important to remember that not all lip or tongue ties cause complications and require a frenectomy. During your child’s visit, we’ll assess their lip or tongue mobility and determine whether a frenectomy would be beneficial.

What are the benefits of the iplus Waterlase laser?

There are many advantages to performing a frenectomy using the iplus Waterlase laser. This may include:

  • Minimal discomfort or pain
  • Reduced bleeding during and after the procedure
  • Faster recovery period
  • Bactericidal (disinfectant) forces
  • Increased accuracy and precision
How do I care for my infant after a frenectomy?

Your baby will likely experience mild discomfort or pain following a frenectomy. However, this should subside within two to three days and they’ll be able to breastfeed immediately after the procedure. We’ll provide you with patient-friendly postoperative instructions and vitamin E capsules to aid a healthy and successful recovery.

Is a frenectomy painful?

At State Street Smiles, we proudly use the iplus Waterlase laser to perform frenectomies with greater precision and comfort. This state-of-the-art laser causes minimal discomfort and very little bleeding for a faster recovery period. During the procedure, we’ll be with your child every step of the way to ensure they feel safe, comfortable, and at ease.

What is the difference between a tongue tie and a lip tie?

A tongue tie occurs when the lingual frenulum, the thin band of flesh that attaches the tongue to the bottom of the mouth, restricts the mobility of the tongue. A lip tie occurs when the labial frenum, the membrane attaching the upper lip to the upper gums, is especially tight. This restricts the baby’s ability to latch properly during nursing.

Can my baby’s tongue tie or lip tie resolve itself?

On occasion, a tongue tie can resolve itself during early childhood. The frenum can loosen naturally, and your child can have the full range of movement. Lip ties nearly always require medical intervention. However, you should always have your dentist examine your child’s mouth to recommend the best course of action. Schedule a visit with Dr. Edward Jackson or Dr. Dina Jackson for help making the decision that is right for your baby.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

To learn more about frenectomies, give us a call at (201) 487-7030 or simply fill out a contact form located below. We’ll get back to you and schedule your complimentary consultation with our outstanding pediatric specialist. 

Our State Street Smiles team looks forward to meeting you and your little one!

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