tongue and lip tie

tongue and lip tieTongue and Lip Tie Release

Knoxville and Maryville, TN

Crestview Dental Care provides comprehensive pediatric and family dental services, including diagnosis and treatment of tethered oral tissue. Also referred to as TOT, tethered oral tissue manifests as either a tongue-tie or a lip-tie, which means the motion of the tongue or lip is limited because of a restricted frenum. Left untreated, this restricted frenum can disrupt the development of speech, breastfeeding, and even skeletal development. If TOT is not identified and released, you will develop negative habits to compensate for the limited range of motion of your tongue or lip. At Crestview Dental Care, we can perform a procedure known as a frenectomy to release a tongue- or lip-tie in patients of any age, even infants.

What is a tongue-tie?

Clinically referred to as ankyloglossia, a tongue-tie refers to a restrictive band of tissue that tethers the bottom of the tongue to the floor of the mouth.

What is a lip-tie?

Otherwise known as an upper labial tie, which attaches the upper lip to the gums above your upper front teeth. A lip-tie restricts the movement of the upper lip and can easily leave a strong gap between the front teeth.

TOT has different impacts on each patient suffering from one, depending on your stage of life

You are either born with tethered oral tissue, or you’re not. And, the consequences begin at birth.

Infants often experience the following difficulties because of tethered oral tissue:

  • Reflux
  • Colic
  • Frequent feedings, usually less than two hours apart
  • Very shallow latching on bottle or breast
  • Crying or gagging while feeding
  • Loud feeding
  • Gassy
  • The formation of a callus on the lip

Having a baby with a tongue-tie or lip-tie has negative effects on new mothers as well, such as:

  • Nipple damage, pain or mastitis while breastfeeding
  • The breast still being full at the end of a feeding
  • Lack of sleep due to an irritable baby
  • Milk supply depletion

If a tongue-tie is allowed to remain into childhood, new consequences emerge, including the following:

  • The formation of a gap between the front teeth
  • Mouth breathing
  • Oral and speech development (difficulty making certain sounds)
  • Difficulty swallowing solid food
  • Strong gag reflex
  • Limited tongue movement abilities (such as difficulty fully opening the mouth or touching the tongue to the roof of the mouth)

If someone reaches adulthood and still has a tongue-tie, he or she has been living with unconsciously formed habits for years that can affect their oral health, as well as their overall health and quality of life.

An adult with a tongue-tie or lip-tie may experience any of these issues:

  • A restricted airway and/or sleep breathing disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea
  • Jaw development issues
  • Crowded teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Misaligned bite
  • Narrow dental arches
  • Mouth breathing
  • A speech impediment
  • Stomach and/or digestive issues, due to poor chewing and swallowing of solid foods
  • Developing a longer, more narrow facial structure

Tethered oral tissue treatment in Maryville

If you or someone you love is exhibiting any combination of the above symptoms, a tongue-tie or lip-tie could be present. Schedule an appointment with Crestview Dental Care, where one of our highly trained dentists can identify the presence of tethered oral tissue through a simple evaluation. Our doctor can release the tongue-tie or lip-tie using a special dental laser that takes about a minute. Depending on your stage of life, following the removal of the tethered oral tissue, we can prescribe a course of myofunctional therapy to correct any negative habits that developed because of the limited range of motion.

To find out more, contact us today by calling (865) 982-1700. We are happy to care for patients from Knoxville, Maryville, and surrounding areas in Tennessee.