What is lip and tongue tie?

The medical term is ‘Ankyloglossia’ and also referred to as ‘anchored tongue’ and is a common condition, often overlooked. The ‘lingual frenum’ (or lingual frenulum) is the cord that stretches from under the tongue to the floor of the mouth. ‘Tongue tie’, ‘Ankyloglossia’ or ‘short frenum’ are the terms used when the lingual frenum is short and restricts the mobility of the tongue.

Tongue tie can be defined as a structural abnormality of the lingual frenum. When the frenum is normal it is elastic and does not interfere with the movements of the tongue in sucking, eating, clearing food off the teeth in preparation for swallowing and, of course, in speech. When it is short, thick, tight or broad it has an adverse effect on oromuscular function, feeding and speech. It can also cause problems when it extends from the margin of the tongue and across the floor of the mouth to finish at the base of the teeth.

The condition is seen at birth and causes a wide range of difficulties. Most often tongue and lip tie is seen together. Some of the consequences of tongue tie are changes to the structure and appearance of the face and teeth as well as oral function. Breastfeeding, eating, digestion, teeth, speech, kissing and social skills can be adversely affected if left untreated. Breastfeeding difficulties can be experienced early but other problems such as speaking and kissing only become apparent later in life.

Breastfeeding is one of the first independent pleasurable activities that a new baby experiences. It is widely recognised to be important both for the baby’s health and nourishment and for bonding to take place between mother and baby. A baby with a tongue tie often cannot make the necessary movements that allow feeding to be satisfying for both mother and baby; instead, the experience becomes one of frustration for the baby, and pain, guilt and failure for the mother.

DentalCareXtra offers Soft Tissue Laser Treatment* which allows for releasing tongue and lip ties (known as frenectomy) in babies without bleeding. DentalCareXtra is the only practice in Central Queensland that uses this advanced technology. This therapy is less invasive than traditional procedures such as surgery using a general anaesthetic.

Not only can we offer this service for babies – children and adults can be treated also.

If you or someone you know may benefit from this less invasive therapy, give us a call to make an appointment for an assessment.

Call DentalCareXtra at our Marian Practice on (07) 4243 4944 or Moranbah (07) 4243 4787.  Alternatively, complete the form below, and one of our friendly team members will contact you.

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