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What is a Lip and Tongue Tie? – Katy, TX

When Oral Functioning is Restricted

A mother and baby smiling and laughing after having a tongue tie in Katy released

At Happy Chompers Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. A and his team of experts know it can be concerning when you discover that your child has a tongue tie in Katy. This, along with lip ties, is commonly found among babies and for some, poses no problems whatsoever. However, for the number of children who have short, thick bands of tissues underneath their tongue and/or upper lip, it can cause difficulties with breastfeeding, taking a bottle, or even speech later in life. If you would like Dr. A to examine your child’s tongue or lip tie, contact us today to schedule an appointment.

How Does a Lip or Tongue Tie Occur?

A baby lying on its stomach on a bed and smiling

Tongue and/or lip ties occur during fetal development. While most babies will experience a separation of the frenum (band of tissue) from the floor of the mouth or gum of the upper jaw, also known as apoptosis, others will not, resulting in restrictive movement of the tongue and/or lip.

Although it is uncertain as to why this restriction occurs in some and not all babies, it is possible that if there is a family history of lip and/or tongue ties, a child may be more prone to developing one before birth. 

What Problems Can Develop as a Result of a Lip or Tongue Tie?

A mother breastfeeding her baby while seated on a couch

The most common problems that can occur from a lip or tongue tie include:

  • Difficulty nursing because of the inability to latch onto the nipple
  • Falling off the nipple or falling asleep while trying to latch
  • Frequent bouts of colic or reflux
  • Lack of weight gain
  • Inability to hold a pacifier in their mouth
  • Difficulty using a bottle

Children who did not receive treatment for their lip or tongue tie as an infant can go on to have problems with their speech, breathing, and eating. The restricted movement of the tongue can also cause oral health to suffer because of the inability to swipe food and other harmful bacteria out of the mouth after eating or drinking.

How is a Lip or Tongue Tie Treated?

A mother and father playing with their baby while it lays on its back and smiles

If you are looking to have your child’s lip or tongue tie released, it is recommended that you speak to your pediatric dentist in Katy. Dr. A has a wealth of experience in performing frenectomies as they are called. First, he will examine your child’s mouth and determine if the lip and/or tongue tie is severe enough to warrant this quick procedure. If so, you can expect the following steps to occur:

  • A will administer a mild anesthetic to help keep your little one calm and comfortable throughout the procedure.
  • He will then use a soft tissue laser to release the band of tissue (a process that takes about one minute to complete).

By choosing to use a soft tissue laser, it not only quickly releases the tie, but it also cauterizes in the process, minimizing the bleeding and preventing possible infection.

You will receive detailed instructions that explain how to perform certain stretches to avoid the band of tissue reattaching. After 1-2 weeks, your child should be fully healed and moving their tongue and/or lip without restriction.

Have Questions? Get Answers.