Tongue Tie Associates of New England
Laser Frenectomy Specialists
Call The Office
413 Broadway, Methuen, MA 01844
What is a Frenectomy?
The medical term for tongue-tie is Anklogossia. This anomaly reduces tongue movement. Normally, there is a short thick membrane that connects the tongue to the bottom of the mouth. In patients with ankylogossia, the tongue is tethered to the mouth floor. The procedure to correct this is called a Frenectomy.
Know the Tongue-tie Symptoms
Maternal Tongue-tie Symptoms
- Nipple pain and discomfort
- Creased, blanched or “lipstick” shaped nipples
- Cracked, bruised, blistered or bleeding nipples
- Maternal exhaustion and depression
- Plugged ducts or Infected nipples
- Engorged/full breasts
- Mastitis and nipple thrush
Newborn Tongue-tie Symptoms
- Poor, shallow, or non-sustainable latch
- Pops on and off breast and frequently breaks seal
- Gumming and chewing of nipple
- Falls asleep at breast
- Unable to hold pacifier
- Clicking noise while feeding
- Swallows excessive amounts of air
- Long duration of feeds/short time between feedings
- Poor weight gain/failure to thrive
Effects of Tongue-tie on your Child
- May increase risk of non-optimal weight gain.
- May impact airway and breathing
- May influence tooth and jaw development
- May create difficulties maintaining proper oral hygiene
- May increase risk for developing cavities
- May lead to speech and language impediments.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a list of common questions regarding tongue-tie and lip-tie conditions.
Can a tongue tied baby stick their tongue out past their lips?
Absolutely. Just because the tongue has normal motion in one direction doesn’t mean that the tongue has normal motion in ALL directions. The most important movement for the tongue during breastfeeding is UP and not OUT, so the normal outward movement of the tongue is as relevant as normal shoulder movement for the purposes of breastfeeding.
Are stretches necessary to prevent reattachment?
Stretches are necessary to prevent reattachment for the lip and a released posterior tongue tie. If someone just releases the anterior component, then I don’t really think that stretches matter. The opposing raw edges of the wounds in a lip tie or posterior tongue tie are too close, and will stick together to some degree without stretching.
Do I need to have a thick lip tie cut in the OR in case it bleeds?
No. It’s all about preparation. When I did scissor treatment, I just injected a small amount of numbing medicine that contained adrenalin. After 10 minutes, there’s minimal bleeding, and the release can be done easily in the office.
My baby's tie has been cut. Why is her tongue still heart shaped?
The band that had tethered the tongue to the floor of the mouth travels from within the substance of the tongue down to the floor of the mouth. Cutting that band somewhere in the middle doesn’t remove the portion of the band inside the tongue. That can still change the shape of the tongue but typically doesn’t affect function.
Can a tongue tie cause speech problems?
Absolutely. The most common letters affected are R, S, L, Z, D, CH, TH, and SH but other sounds are also difficult. While some kids can make these sounds in isolation, stringing the sounds together during speech can be very difficult. Recent studies have shown some improvement in speech function following a frenotomy, although most studies don’t show obvious benefit. I feel that speech can be improved in specific cases where restriction is prominent and the child has had speech therapy and improvement hasn’t been noted. As more studies are done, I think we will see an improvement in objective speech measures with the procedure, but not every patient will benefit.
Can a lip tie cause speech problems?
Generally, I say no. In some severe cases, if the lip tie is causing the child some discomfort with mouth opening (because of tension), they may alter their oral anatomy to minimize pain, which could impact speech.
Can laser revision cause scar tissue?
Yes. Any wound can have scar tissue. The precision of laser and the lack of collateral damage because of focused energy is thought to minimize that scar tissue. Regardless of the technique used, however, if the entire tongue tie is released (including the posterior portion), then there is a higher chance of scar tissue because the wound is deeper and the opposing edges of the release site are closer together, increasing the chances of scarring.
Do stitches prevent reattachment?
If the release is done absolutely perfectly and the stitches are placed precisely, then theoretically reattachment would be difficult. That being said, my experience is that placing stitches requires general anesthesia, and the provider using stitches generally doesn’t have an understanding of posterior tongue tie, so while it doesn’t reattach, it’s often inadequately released.
How often does a tongue tie accompany a lip tie?
Approximately 90% of cases.
Is there always a posterior tie behind an anterior?
Yes. The real restriction of a tongue tie is typically at the posterior component (for the motion necessary during breastfeeding).
Do lip ties cause tooth decay?
Yes. The most affected are the 2 teeth on either side of the upper lip tie (the incisors). Cavities on the teeth in the back (molars) typically happen in the setting of tongue-tie (can’t sweep the tongue back there to clean). Dr Kotlow has a great article describing the impact of a lip tie on cavities, and if you want to print it off and give it to your dentist or doctor, just print this page or save as PDF.
I have no difficulties with breastfeeding but it looks like my baby has a lip tie. What should I do?
Enjoy your normal breastfeeding relationship 🙂
Read Our Reviews
We’ve built up an excellent reputation over the years, but don’t take our word for it, hear for yourself below!
“We LOVE it here! The staff is amazing! My kids actually look forward to their dentist appointments! They make everyone feel so comfortable. The way they interact with the kids is like no other place we have ever gone. The Absolute BEST around!“
“Surprisingly he didn’t cry or anything! We’ll definitely recommend. He doesn’t like shots but he didn’t even notice. Pretty quick and friendly staff“
“My child every time he vists Kangaroo smiles is anxious but with their amazing team both in Lowell and Methuen he’s at ease. When I went to my son’s appointment his experience was excellent they were very polite and patient with my child , dental assistant sandy was awesome!“
Book An Appointment
Call: (844) 578-3384
413 Broadway, Methuen, MA 01844
- Monday-Friday 9am-5pm.
- Saturday 8am-2pm (by appointment only)
- Sunday closed