Tongue-Tie

Melanie L. Throne, DDS, PA -  - General Family Dentist

Melanie L. Throne, DDS, PA

General Family Dentist located in Fort Worth, Texas

Tongue tie and lip tie are common conditions that can make it difficult to move your tongue or mouth. Often identified shortly after birth, tongue and lip tie can make breastfeeding hard for newborn babies. However, people of all ages can have tongue or lip tie, and both conditions can be corrected at any age. Melanie L. Throne, DDS, PA, has extensive training in tongue and lip tie release. Find the best care for all ages at Dr. Throne’s practice located in Fort Worth, Texas. Make an appointment online or by phone today to learn more.

Tongue-Tie Q & A

What is tongue tie?

Tongue tie, or ankyloglossia, is a condition that restricts the movement of your tongue. A string of tissue, called the lingual frenulum, connects the bottom of your tongue to the floor of your mouth. If you have a tongue tie, the lingual frenulum is shorter, thicker, or tighter than normal. 

Up to 11% of babies are born with tongue tie. The exact cause is unknown, but it can run in families. Tongue tie is more common in boys than girls. 

Symptoms often appear soon after birth, when a baby exhibits problems breastfeeding or struggles to gain weight. While babies with tongue tie often get treatment as children, the condition can be treated in patients of all ages. 

What is lip tie?

Lip tie occurs when the frenulum, or band of tissue behind the upper lip, is too thick or too tight. Lip tie keeps your upper lip from moving freely and can make it hard for babies to feed and gain weight as they should.

Lip tie and tongue tie are similar conditions, and if a baby has tongue tie, he or she is more likely to have lip tie as well. While tongue tie and lip tie aren’t dangerous conditions, they can make life harder if left untreated.

What are the symptoms of tongue and lip tie?

Most people first notice tongue tie or lip tie in newborn babies. A characteristic of both conditions is problems when breastfeeding. Because babies need to create a vacuum on the breast to get milk, babies with tongue or lip tie can’t efficiently feed.

Common symptoms of tongue tie and lip tie include:

  • Inability to elevate the posterior section of the tongue
  • A tongue that looks notched when stuck out
  • Affected speech or eating
  • Your baby struggles to breastfeed

Tongue or lip tie can impact your ability to speak clearly or eat comfortably. In older children, speech-language pathologists may identify tongue tie. In some cases, tongue tie or lip tie may not have any symptoms. 

How are tongue and lip tie treated?

Dr. Throne uses laser technology for soft tissue release, including the lingual frenulum and frenulum. The procedure takes only a few minutes and is virtually painless. After the procedure, the tongue or lip is freed immediately. Both areas typically heal quickly. 

If you or a loved one has tongue tie or lip tie, Dr. Throne and her team can help. Call the office or request your first appointment online today to get started.

Watch Dr. Throne describe tongue-ties and lip-ties in pediatric patients:

 

Testimonial from one our patients: 

Helping a patient with their recovery from a frenectomy:

Stretches for a post-op frenectomy: