Tongue-Tie and Lip-Tie in Children
Fast, Gentle Treatment of Tongue-Ties and Lip-Ties
A small percentage – estimated between 4 and 15% – of people are born with what are called tethered oral tissues. This means a short, tight membrane of tissues connects, or tethers, the tongue or lip in such a way that it inhibits natural movement. This can cause problems with breastfeeding and, if untreated, with speech and function and a myriad of other concerns as serious as sleep apnea. However, a much larger percentage of people have posterior tongue-ties and have learned to compensate with other muscles instead of the tongue. Therefore, most are not even aware of it. At Arlington Smile Center, Dr. Roca uses a light scalpel CO2 laser to sever this tight tissue with little to no bleeding and therefore little to no pain. This can be done for patients of any age, from newborn through adult. Before she can release your tongue- or lip-tie, she needs you to spend a good month strengthening your tongue in order to get your best results from the tongue-tie release. After the release, you are required to continue the oral myology she teaches you, to prevent the tongue-tie from reattaching.
The procedure can be performed for a baby as young as two days old. On infants, it takes a maximum of only 15 seconds for lip-ties and eight seconds for a tongue-tie. Treating these babies has become the most rewarding part of being a dentist for Dr. Roca. She received her tongue- and lip-tie training directly from Dr. Richard Baxter, the renowned speaker and author of Tongue-Tied: How a Tiny String Under the Tongue Impacts Nursing, Speech, Feeding, and More. She was one of three doctors who spent the day training under him as he did several lip- and tongue-ties on newborns and kids of all ages. Her favorite part is listening to the change and emotion in the new mom’s experience from before the procedure to after and seeing a full, happy baby. Dr. Roca is very passionate about this topic, since she is the mom of two tongue-tied children and remembers all the struggles she faced with nursing. She wishes today’s research was available back when her kids were born. She said, “Knowing what I know, I would have given my right arm to have taken my kids right out of the hospital if this CO2 laser existed when my kids were born.”
Here’s a look at a repaired tongue-tie of one of our patients.
Super tight and skinny frenum you can barely see in the middle of the tongue. 05/30/2019
Patient came in for five month check up. Showed her how tight and scar tissue that forming is the thick white line down center and down the sides. 10/15/2019
Five minutes of tongue clicks, suction hold, and stretching. Look how scar tissue is gone. Patient felt so much looser after she stretched. Healing goes on for nine months. Be proactive and stretch or it was a waste of time. Look how much more her mouth can open! 10/15/2019