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How is Tongue and Lip-tie Caused in Children and Adults?

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Having a tongue-tie or lip-tie can cause a multitude of issues for both children and adults. Even breastfeeding mothers can experience pain and bleeding nipples when their infant has a tongue- or lip-tie. At Cuddly Smiles Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, top Allen, TX dentist Dr. Yvonne Felli uses advanced laser technology to swiftly correct frenulum abnormalities in patients of all ages. With this approach, side effects and recovery time are kept to a minimum, and patients are able to enjoy the ability to eat, speak, laugh and sleep more comfortably than ever. They are also able to achieve optimal growth. Below, you’ll find answers to many of the most frequently asked questions regarding laser frenectomy, including what causes a tongue-tie in the first place and what age is best for treatment. 


What are tongue and Lip-ties?  

A tongue-tie is a condition that affects many children and adults, in which the connective tissue between the tongue and the floor of the mouth – called the frenulum – is too small, short, and/or overly tight. Some patients also suffer from a similar condition known as a lip-tie, characterized by short or tight frenulum between the inside of the lip and the teeth. 


What causes tongue and lip-tie?  

Tongue-ties and lip-ties develop naturally as a baby forms in the womb. Genetics is primarily thought to be responsible for tongue- and lip-ties. Tongue-ties do not spontaneously occur in adulthood, though symptoms of a tongue-tie may become more pronounced or bothersome as the child grows into adolescence and adulthood. 


How do I know if my baby has a tongue-tie or Lip tie?  

In some cases, tongue-tie symptoms are mild and do not cause any problems. Other times, a tongue-tie can cause disruptive symptoms as early as the first few weeks or months of life. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of a tongue-tie include:  

  • Difficulty breastfeeding or latching 
  • Breastfeeding causes pain for mother 
  • Difficulty bottle-feeding 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Fussiness and irritability (babies) 
  • Notch in tip of tongue 
  • Heart-shaped tongue 
  • Difficulty pronouncing certain words and sounds 
  • Inability to stick tongue out past bottom lip
  • Clicking or Smacking noise during breastfeeding
  • Slow weight gain or lack of weight gain
  •  Extremely fatigued by nursing 
  • Colic or gas pain
  • Narrow jaw development


In adults, the complications of a lip- or tongue-tie can lead to other issues due to overcompensation or adjustments made to eating and speaking. These can include TMJ problems, sleep disruptions, and others. 


When should my baby get their tongue-tie fixed?  

At Cuddly Smiles Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, Dr. Felli performs laser frenectomy starting at age three months. This specialized approach can be completed quickly and creates very few side effects. Patients typically have mild soreness for about 1 – 3 days and are able to enjoy a noticeable improvement in their tongue-tie symptoms almost immediately. To further reduce any discomfort that may be experienced during tongue-tie treatment, Dr. Felli is proud to use the highly advanced LightScalpel laser. 


Can adults have their tongue-tie fixed?  

Absolutely. Our office performs laser tongue-tie correction on patients of all ages, starting at 2 weeks old. If your teenager (or you) has been living with a tongue- or lip-tie for years, or if their symptoms have become worse over time, this short procedure can swiftly and dramatically improve their quality of life and ability to eat, talk, laugh, and sleep comfortably once again. 


Relieve tongue-tie symptoms at any age with laser frenectomy in Allen, TX  

If you or your child are struggling to eat or speak properly, it may be due to tongue-tie or lip-tie. Find relief from the uncomfortable symptoms of tongue- and lip-tie today by calling Cuddly Smiles Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics to schedule your consultation for laser tongue-tie treatment in Allen, TX with Dr. Yvonne Felli today. 

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.