Lip & Tongue Tie Release

Lip & Tongue Tie Release

At Luminous Dentistry on the Central Coast we offer a full range of lip and tongue tie services including:

  • Diagnose lip and tongue ties
  • Assess a tongue tie in terms of multi-disciplinary approach
  • Tongue tie release program including myofunctional therapy




What is a tongue-tie?

A tongue-tie is a thin flap of skin that can be found under the tongue (called the lingual frenulum). Tongue-ties can restrict the movement of the tongue. In some cases, the tongue is not free or mobile enough to reach the palate, which is important to prevent mouth breathing and maintain neck posture.


Simple symptoms of tongue ties in babies may be an inability to attach properly to the breast. If a tongue tie is not identified at birth it may persist into adulthood resulting in many problems including crooked teeth and sleep breathing problems such as mouth breathing and snoring.


What is a lip tie?

A lip tie is a flap of skin that occurs under the lip between the gums and teeth. Lip-ties often accompany tongue-ties. If you lift your own or baby’s upper lip and see a flap of skin that is tight and if the gums blanch (turn white) when the lip is lifted, you or your baby may have a lip-tie.


Are tongue and lip ties common?

Studies show tongue-tie occurs in 4-11% of newborns and is more common in males. However, today a high number of kids present with tongue-ties which may suggest this research may be out dated.

Any child who is showing signs of mouth breathing, poor feeding, snoring, or crooked teeth should be checked for a tongue tie.

Why do tongue and lip ties happen?


Traditionally, newborns were checked for tongue-ties by midwives. When a child is born they would check under the tongue to see if a tie was present. It was common practice for a midwife to keep one nail sharpened to snip the tie.

During development of a newborn, by the 12th week of pregnancy a child’s tongue is nearly completed. It happens when the back and front fuse together to form a full human tongue.

The front of the tongue is connected by a flap of skin that is

Tongue-ties appear to happen similarly to other mid-line birth defects like spina bifida and cleft palate. While the research hasn’t pinned down exactly what nutrients are responsible, problems with folic acid supplementation and MTHFR genes are likely involved.

At this stage it’s not exactly known what causes tongue ties, however pre-natal and pregnancy nutrition are likely contributors to risk of a newborn presenting with one.




Tongue-tie symptoms

A tongue tie can present in many ways. For many people they may experience some or many of the listed symptoms below.


Newborn & Baby Tongue Tie Symptoms:

  • Mouth breathing
  • Babies may not be able to stimulate milk production through vigorous nursing, leading to low milk supply
  • Painful nursing/early weaning because child gets too frustrated
  • Improper tongue mobility may prevent babies from clearing milk from their mouth, causing tooth decay (especially in the front teeth)
  • Colic
  • Sleep deprivation for mother and baby (due to the need for frequent feedings)

*Some babies with tongue-tie are able to attach to the breast and suck well. However, many have breastfeeding problems, such as nipple damage, poor milk transfer and low weight gains in the baby, and possibly blocked ducts or mastitis due to ineffective milk removal.

Symptoms With Mother

  • Creased/flat/blanched nipple after feedings
  • Cracked/blistered/bleeding nipples
  • Discomfort while nursing
  • Plugged ducts
  • Thrush or breast infections

Toddler & Small Child Tongue-tie Symptoms

  • Speech difficulties
  • Reflux
  • Gap between teeth/jaw issues
  • Mouth breathing
  • Narrow palate
  • Swollen tonsils
  • Crooked teeth
  • Over bite
  • Under bite
  • Cross bite
  • Teeth grinding
  • Poor sleep and snoring
  • Bedwetting
  • Digestive problems

Teenage Tongue-Tie Symptoms

  • Crooked teeth
  • Jaw pain
  • Migraines & headaches
  • Teeth grinding
  • Narrow palate
  • Under bite
  • Mouth breathing
  • Poor sleep and snoring
  • Digestive problems
  • Reflux


Adult Tongue tie Symptoms

  • Mouth breathing
  • Bad breath
  • Snoring
  • Teeth Grinding
  • Anxiety/depression
  • Irritable bowel disease
  • Chronic blocked sinus
  • Poor sleep
  • Jaw pain
  • Migraines & headaches





Tongue-tie pictures


Tongue ties may or may not be visible. You can check by swiping your finger underneath the tongue to check for normal vs. tongue-tie.



Mild tongue-tie picture

Mild tongue tie release Central Coast


Severe tongue-tie picture


Lip-tie picture

Lip-ties can be identified by lifting the lip of the child and checking between the teeth and gums.










Tongue & Lip Tie Clinic


What is the surgery for tongue tie?

Surgical release of a tongue-tie is a simple procedure that can be completed in the dental chair. A dental laser, or small incision scissors are quick and effective ways of releasing a tongue and lip tie.


There are two surgical methods for tongue and lip tie release

  1. Medical Laser Tongue and Lip Tie release (most common for child lip tie release)

At our Central Coast Tongue and Lip Tie Clinic we use a medical laser to release

Lasers are the latest technology for releasing tongue and lip ties in children.

The procedure is performed under local anaesthesia


2. Adult Tongue-tie Release

Adults who were not checked for tongue-tie as an infant may have an undiagnosed tongue and lip tie.

Adult tongue tie release can be very helpful as a strategy to treat

  • Crooked teeth, high arch palate
  • Mouth breathing
  • Poor sleep
  • Snore and sleep apnoea
  • Neck pain
  • Back pain
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Digestive problems


Post-Op Relief Topical Oil: We find coconut oil or  I recommend using an oil rich in Vitamin K2 to assist in healing and reduce pain under the tongue. Walkabout Emu Oil is the best we’ve found and helps to reduce post-operative pain.  We also recommend coconut oil to help soothe post-operative soreness.


Tongue tie surgery recovery time

Generally, the wound can take between 2-7 days to heal. Post-op pain is common after the surgery.

Some patients report significant soreness post op for weeks after surgery.

Post-Op Relief Topical Oil:  I recommend using an oil rich in Vitamin K2 to assist in healing and reduce pain under the tongue.




Tongue tie surgery on the central coast

This treatment can be carried out in our Central Coast Dental Practice.

  • Pre-op tongue exercises, sleep assessment and myofunctional therapy
  • Release of the frenum with scissors and local anaesthetic.
  • Post op exercises and sleep assessment


Tongue tie surgery complications

  • Recurrence of lingual frenum can occur, especially in growing children. This may mean a revision is necessary in certain cases.
  • Damage to surrounding structures of the floor of the mouth may end up in vessel or nerve damage. Always consult with your practitioner regarding potential risks and complications before surgery.


Process of lip and tongue tie surgery? 

Our release program includes at minimum a three appointment system

  • Pre-release myofunctional therapy (often performed with our Myobrace program)
  • Release and surgical release of tongue and lip tie
  • Post-op myofunctional therapy

To book an appointment at our Central Coast Tongue and Lip Tie Clinic, call us today or book an appointment online.