Steps for scheduling a consultation:
Thanks for reaching out to us for a lip/tongue tie consultation. Below are documents for you to complete and review prior to scheduling.
- Complete the assessment using this link. This will give Dr. Mary more information regarding the patient's symptoms. Once completed, Dr. Mary will review and we will contact you regarding scheduling an appointment.
- Review the FAQ Document . Fees are listed in this document.
- Below are several videos that will help you understand more about the diagnosis and effects of tongue and lip ties in infants and older children. You will also see the infant stretches required after the procedure. These videos were made by Dr. Richard Baxter of Alabama Tongue Tie Center.
What exactly are tongue & lip-ties?
Tongue-tie is the nonmedical term referring to a physical condition in which the tongue is restricted in mobility. The medical term for tongue-tie is ankyloglossia. Lip-tie refers to limited mobility and function of the upper lip. Both lip and tongue ties are due to failure of a normal piece of tissue called a frenum to recede during development, leading to tight, thick and short tissue in this area.
Having a tongue-tie can lead to problems with nursing, bottle feeding, speech, sleep,and eating solid foods. Lip-ties tend to affect nursing, dental hygiene, and dental spacing in the area between the front two teeth.
Because some tongue-ties are easily visible and some are more hidden (called posterior ties), the symptoms that the child(and mom if nursing) presents with are very important when diagnosing a tongue/lip-tie. Children’s tongue-ties can present very tight or only mildly tight, but be causing significant issues that warrant a tongue-tie release. The child’s function and symptoms are more important than appearance.
Infants with Feeding Difficulties
A new baby with a restricted tongue and/or lip frenum can have trouble latching when nursing. They may not be able to make a good seal on the breast and therefore swallow air which can lead to gas, reflux, colic and sometimes poor weight gain. The mother may also experience symptoms including pain when nursing, mastitis, nipple blanching and cracking. All of this combined leads many to abandon nursing all together.
In Toddlers and Older Children: Speech, Feeding and Sleep Issues
Toddlers and older children with a tongue-tie tend to have symptoms related to speech, feeding, and sleep. Tongue-tied children often struggle with the R, L, S, TH,SH, and Z sounds. Tongue-ties can also cause difficulty chewing and swallowing food and liquids and can lead to choking,gagging, and spitting out food. Snoring,restless sleep, and frequent night wakings are also symptoms of a tongue tie.
Tongue-tie & Lip-tie Release Procedure
There are several ways to release a tongue and/or lip-tie. They can be performed with scissors, scalpel, contact laser or noncontact laser like the CO2 laser. Dr. Mary uses the highest quality, state-of-the-art CO2 laser to perform her release, as this provides minimal to no bleeding, excellent visualization, and a quick procedure. Proper technique is paramount in releasing the tie completely. Dr. Mary uses the protocol established by Dr. Richard Baxter of Alabama Tongue Tie Center and received extensive training under his direction.
The procedure can be performed without general anesthesia or sedation from ages infants to adults. Typically, only profound numbing jelly is required and no sutures are usually needed.
After the procedure, daily "stretches" in this area will be needed to ensure the wound closes properly. We will teach you these and ask that you watch a short video demonstrating the proper technique. Over-the-counter children/infant's acetominiphen can be used for any healing discomfort in the first few days following the frenectomy.
To ensure optimal results for your child, it is important to have a multidisciplinary approach. The tongue/lip-tie release is only part of the puzzle to get your child functioning optimally. Involving other professionals based on your child’s symptoms is important. For example, if your infant has nursing difficulty, working with a lactation specialist before and after the release is recommended. A speech therapist, myofunctional therapist, feeding therapist, and/or physical therapist (for infants with torticollis) will also benefit those patients experiencing symptoms in those respective areas.