Lip & Tongue Tie – Inver Grove Heights, MN

Set Your Child’s Lips and Tongue Free!

Smiling child with lip and tongue tie

Getting tongue-tied isn’t just an expression; it’s a real condition that can get in the way of your child’s eating, hygiene, and speech. Dr. Strumpf knows firsthand how problematic it can be, as his own daughter had a tie that stopped her from breastfeeding. But after a frenectomy, she was able to feed problem-free the next day! Do you think your child might have a lip or tongue tie? Call us to schedule an appointment; we’re ready to help with treatment for lip and tongue tie at our Inver Grove Heights, MN dental office!

Why Choose Mighty Molars Pediatric Dental for Lip & Tongue Tie?

  • Pediatric Dentist That’s Passionate About Frenectomies
  • Teamed Up with Lactation Consultants & Other Specialists
  • State of the Art Dental Laser

What Are Lip & Tongue Ties?

Mother holding sleeping baby with lip and tongue tie

A lip or tongue-tie occurs when your child has an overdeveloped frenum. The frenum is the tissue that keeps the tongue connected to the floor of the mouth; there is also a frenum attaching each of the lips to the gums. When a frenum is too tight or thick, your child won’t be able to move their lips and tongue freely. Tongue and lip ties can prevent infants from breastfeeding, and they often interfere with the development of speech if they’re not corrected early on.

Lip & Tongue Tie Treatment

Baby sucking thumb after lip and tongue tie treatment

Luckily, fixing a lip or tongue tie is fairly simple; all we need to do is get rid of the unneeded tissue. To do that, we take a state-of-the-art dental laser and carefully aim it at the area in your child’s mouth where the tissue is located. The energy from the laser will gently and precisely remove the tissue, letting your child move their mouth normally. The advantage of using a dental laser for this procedure is that it causes little to no discomfort, and your child’s mouth will heal quickly.

Learn More About Frenectomies

Lip & Tongue Tie in Older Children

young boy smiles while writing at school

While these conditions are most closely associated with babies and breast/bottle feeding difficulties, the truth is that thousands of children are born with lip and tongue ties every year, and not all of them are caught during infancy! This can lead to toddlers, school-aged children, and even teens struggling with them. As you can imagine, the signs and symptoms of ties are very different when a child gets older, and knowing what to look out for as a parent can let you realize when it’s time to reach out to Dr. Matt for professional help.

Symptoms of Lip & Tongue Tie in Older Children

If any of the following sound familiar, then your child might be dealing with a lip or tongue tie:
  1. Speech Issues: Your child has difficulty pronouncing certain sounds such as "s", "t", "th", and "L." They may even have a noticeable impediment like a lisp.
  2. Feeding Problems: Ties can make it really hard and uncomfortable to eat certain foods, particularly ones that require a lot of chewing like meats. You may also notice that they often gag when eating even if they are going relatively slow.
  3. Sleep Problems: Mouth breathing, snoring, and disrupted sleep could be signs of a tongue tie not allowing the body to naturally breathe out the nose. Sleep deprivation in children can also manifest as hyperactivity or the inability to remain focused and stay on task.
  4. Dental Development: A lip tie can hamper the teeth’s ability to come in properly and cause a large gap to form between the two upper front teeth.

Lip & Tongue Tie Treatment For Older Children

If you’re pretty sure your child has a lip or tongue tie, what should you do next? Thankfully, the treatment process for older children is basically the same as it is for infants here at Mighty Molars. It’s quite simple: you bring your child in to see Dr. Matt, and he can perform a screening to determine whether or not they have a lip/tongue tie. If they do, he can fix it using a safe and comfortable laser frenectomy. This involves applying concentrated light energy to the tie that either removes or loosens the tissue, enabling your child to move their mouth like normal. The laser is extremely precise, meaning it only affects the tissue that it needs to while leaving the rest of your child’s mouth untouched. It’s also quite gentle—it cauterizes nerves and closes blood vessels as it works, meaning your child won’t feel much of anything during the treatment, and post-procedure bleeding/discomfort are minimal as well. Following your visit, your child should be able to eat like normal almost immediately, and you’ll be given a program of stretches to perform that will help their lip/tongue heal properly.

Sleep Apnea Treatment

Child sleeping using sleep apnea treatment device

In some cases, lip and tongue ties can even stop your child from getting a good night’s sleep. An untreated tie causes growth problems in the mouth, and as a result, the upper airway space will be smaller and more likely to collapse during the night, causing sleep apnea. This is something you want to avoid at all costs, as sleep apnea can cause your child to perform poorly in school and put their health at risk. If you have any reason to think that a lip or tongue tie is affecting your child’s sleep habits (like if they snore every night), call Mighty Molars Pediatric Dental immediately!