A Fee-for-Service Provider
Please note that our practice is currently not accepting insurance. We encourage all patients to review potential benefits and costs with their insurance carrier. Although the New Jersey Tongue-Tie Center does not bill patient insurance, we can provide a superbill to be submitted to your insurance carrier for potential reimbursement.
Tongue Ties Versus Lip Ties
Typically, parents notice that their baby is very fussy, not gaining weight, and dread drinking milk from their mother’s breast or a bottle, all of which are signs your baby may have a tongue tie. A tongue tie is caused by the membrane connecting the tongue and the bottom of the mouth being too thick, short, or not developing properly. Tongue tie surgery should be done after a doctor confirms a baby has a tongue tie because tongue ties prevent babies from being able to nurse or drink from a bottle correctly.
A lip tie is when the piece of tissue on the inside of your upper lip is too short, which can cause a baby to have limited movement abilities in their lip. However, a lip does not usually require surgery like a tongue tie because lip ties often correct themselves as the child ages. But if a lip tie does not correct itself then you should ask the doctor about correcting it because in some cases lip ties can also affect the development of your child’s teeth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Tongue ties can affect the growth and development of the teeth and jaw, affecting alignment, tongue movement, and speech. In infants the primary concern is a poor latch for breastfeeding, which can result in other issues including:
- Difficult intake of adequate milk
- Early weaning from the breast
- Extended nursing duration
- Slow weight gain
- Falling asleep during a feed
- Unable to develop or sustain a good latch
- Unable to hold a pacifier
Poor latching can cause problems for mothers too including difficult breastfeeding, mastitis, anxiety, slow post-delivery weight loss, painful conditions of nipples, and low milk supply or early cessation of lactation.
If your baby is struggling to latch and you suspect a physical impediment to success, look into the baby’s mouth and use your finger to feel for tightness in the tissue under his or her tongue or between the front upper gum and lip.
First, your baby will be swaddled and a topical anesthetic, such as lidocaine, is applied to the area. The dentist then uses a precise laser to release the tightened or tethered tissue. The whole procedure takes less than 10 minutes and in most instances the baby is able to latch immediately when he or she is returned to you. Your baby may experience some slight swelling for a day or so following the treatment. Also, the dentist will provide advice on how to care for the baby’s mouth and if any exercises or post-surgical care is needed to ensure that the frenum does not reattach or tether again.
Laser frenectomies are extraordinarily precise and quick. There is no need for general anesthesia. Your baby will only have minimal discomfort or swelling and the laser treatment sterilizes the treatment area, reducing the chance of infection. In addition to the benefits of the laser procedure, once the release of the tongue tie is complete, your baby will be more able to latch on to the breast and feed more efficiently. This will improve the baby’s health and wellbeing as well as the mother’s.
If you have questions about this procedure or suspect that your baby might have a tongue tie, contact us to make an appointment with our doctors for assessment and advice.