Kingsport Pediatric Dentistry

BEING TONGUE-TIED isn’t just an expression; for many people, it’s an actual medical condition, and a similar one is being lip-tied. Grab a mirror and lift your tongue. You will see that we all have thin, stretchy pieces of tissue that connect our tongues to the floor of our mouths and our lips to our gums at the front of our mouth. Sometimes those pieces of tissue are unusually thick or tight, which restricts the movement of the lip or tongue. This is called being tongue-tied or lip-tied.

Effects of Tongue Tie and Lip Tie

Someone with a tongue tie might not be able to touch the roof of their mouth with their tongue. This can effect someone in many ways. Tongue ties can have various effects on individuals, depending on the severity of the condition. Some common effects include:
  1. Difficulty breastfeeding: Infants with tongue ties may have trouble latching onto the breast properly, leading to feeding difficulties for both the baby and the mother.
  2. Speech problems: Tongue ties can affect speech development, causing issues with articulation, pronunciation, and clarity.
  3. Oral hygiene issues: A restricted tongue movement can make it challenging to clean the mouth thoroughly, potentially leading to dental problems such as tooth decay and gum disease.
  4. Difficulty with certain activities: Tongue ties may interfere with activities such as licking an ice cream cone, playing wind instruments, and more.

Someone with a lip tie might have a big gap between their two front teeth and be at higher risk of gum recession. The first sign of a lip or tongue tie is often with babies who struggle to latch effectively to breastfeed.

The Solution: Frenectomies

The treatment for a lip or tongue tie is a frenectomy, a quick and simple procedure with a short recovery period. It is usually performed by a periodontist or oral surgeon. After the area is numbed, a small incision (sometimes made with a laser) releases the tissue, which stops all of the symptoms. Super easy!
There are some cases where a lip or tongue tie isn’t addressed as an infant. In those cases, tongue exercises and/or speech therapy might benefit your child. This will help the child learn to improve the tongue mobility and make proper mouth shapes as they form letter sounds and words.
Not addressing these tie concerns has the possibility of leading to the need of orthodontic work in some cases to properly align the jaw. Properly addressing tongue and lip tie concerns will allow your child to benefit from improvement in symptoms and overall function.

The Dentist Can Help!

If you believe you or your child are suffering from a lip or tongue tie, schedule a dental appointment so that we can verify it and make a plan for how to correct it. Don’t let it continue to get in the way! Getting this address when your baby is young will make for a happier baby and easier time learning new skills.

We love taking care of our patients’ smiles!

Kingsport Pediatric Dentistry provides dental services for children and adolescents in the East Tennessee Area. We strive to provide a fun, caring, and child-friendly environment. We are here to help your children form healthy oral hygiene habits and help them take care of their teeth. We are conveniently located in Kingsport at 1741 Moreland Drive. To make an appointment with one of Kingsport Pediatric Dentistry‘s doctors, please call: 423-247-1994.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions. 


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