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Tongue Tied 

Have you or your child/infant been diagnosed with a tongue or lip-tie? Dr. Rosenberg can help! We are only 20 minutes from Boston and conveniently located right off of Routes 2 and 128! 

What does it mean to be tongue-tied or lip-tied?

Many people, ages 0 to 100, suffer from tongue-ties, lip-ties, or both. It is a genetic abnormality that can range from very minimal in some cases to severe in others.

The lingual frenum is a cord that stretches from under the tongue to the floor of the mouth. A tongue tie, or ankyloglossia, are terms used for the lingual frenum is short and restricts the movement of the tongue.  It can be diagnosed several different ways.

Some common signs of a tongue-tie are:

difficulty moving tongue side to side or up and down

inability to touch the roof of the mouth with tongue

inability to stick out tongue

presence of a notch at the tip of the tongue

The labial frenum is a piece of skin that connects a persons upper lip to their gums. A lip-tie is when the labial frenum is too short or wide and restricts upper lip movement.

Some common signs of a lip-tie are:

problem with breastfeeding

             • slurred speech

             • gap between upper teeth

Below are some pictures of lip and tongue-ties:

       


      


Are you having trouble breastfeeding?

If infants are having trouble with breastfeeding, it could be attributed to lip or tongue-tie. This condition is unfortunately often overlooked and can lead to an infant’s failure to thrive. Luckily, it can be fixed!

Infants who have lip and /or tongue-ties cause breastfeeding to be painful for the mother. This is frustrating for both the mother and infant.

Common signs for the infant are:

  unable to properly latch                            unsatisfied hunger

sliding off nipple                                       falling asleep on the breast

prolonged feeding time                             gumming on chewing nipple

poor weight gain                                       excessive gas

Common signs for the mother are:

creased or flattened nipples after feeding      incomplete breast drainage

bruised or blistered nipples                           infected nipples

bleeding nipples                                            plugged ducts

severe pain with latching                              mastitis and nipple thrush

 

 Tongue and lip-ties can be easily corrected in our office using a laser. It takes only a few minutes!

 

How is this treated?

These conditions are treated with a procedure called a frenectomy. It is also commonly known as a frenontomy or frenulectomy. Dr. Rosenberg treats tongue-ties and lip-ties with FDA approved Periolase Laser by Millenium. This laser is safe, effective, and minimally invasive. Using a laser for this procedure eliminates the need for needles, general anesthesia, stitches, or a costly hospital visit. Because the procedure is done with a laser beam, there will be minimal bleeding, if any at all. It only takes a few minutes and patients can eat, drink, and talk immediately afterwards.

 

What can happen if a lip or tongue tie is not treated?

If a lip-tie or tongue-tie are not corrected, there are several things that can happen.

Infants can have trouble with breastfeeding. This leads to failure to thrive, colic, excessive drooling and gagging, and nutritional problems.

School aged children can develop rampant decay on the outside of their teeth because the tongue doesn’t have the mobility it needs to sweep food away after eating. Children can also develop gapped teeth and speech problems, especially relating to articulation the sounds l, r ,t ,d , n, th, sh and z. It can also leave to problems with the proper development of the jaw.

Later on in life, untreated tongue and lip-ties can lead to sleep apnea, jaw pain, migraines and even problems kissing! In elderly patients a tongue-tie can make it very difficult to keep a denture in place.

 

What is the aftercare once a patient has undergone laser therapy to correct their tongue or lip tie?

Other than doing exercises to keep the frenum from reattaching, the aftercare doesn’t consist of much. You will want to keep the area clean, but in most cases there are no restrictions on activity or diet.

 

Billing to insurances for lip and tongue-tie: We bill to dental plans for these procedures.We find that patients get much better coverage through their dental plans. 

Some medical plans may cover it, but you would need to check to see if there are stipulations about out of network providers and make sure that it is approved to be completed in a general dental office. We are not in network for any medical plans. Payment would be required up front if billing to medical, and any reimbursement would be payable to you directly from the insurance.