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About Tongue Ties

What is a tongue tie?

Tongue tied baby with posterior tie

Tongue tied infant

There is a band of tissue that connects the tongue with the floor of the mouth called a frenum.  It is normal — everyone has one. However,  if a frenum is too tight, it keeps the tongue from moving normally.  In this case, it is called a tongue tie.

Why do frenectomies?

Releasing a too-tight frenum is called a frenectomy.  Infants with tongue and lip ties can have problems with breastfeeding, extended feeding time, falling asleep during feedings, reflux and gas. Mothers of tongue-tied infants can experience painful breastfeeding. Children can have speech, and dental problems as well as continued reflux. Adults can have reflux,  problems with speech, snoring, headaches, posture and sleep apnea.

What is an upper lip tie?​

When the frenum that attaches the upper lip to the gums is too tight, it keeps the baby from being able to flange or curl the lip upwards and outwards to form a seal around the breast.  An inefective seal leads to swallowing excess air. It can cause retention of breast milk or formula under the lip which will lead to decay of the teeth when they erupt. When the teeth erupt it can keep the two front teeth from moving completely together leaving a space.  Upper-lip ties commonly occur in infants that also have a tongue tie so we usually release both the tongue and upper lip at the same time.

Why use the light scalpel Laser?​

There are many ways to perform a frenectomy.   We prefer using the Light Scalpel CO2 laser. The benefits of using a CO2 laser for soft tissue procedures such as frenectomies are many:

  • Minimal bleeding

  • Minimal discomfort

  • No sutures

  • No hospital visit

  • No general anesthesia

  • Faster healing

  • Safe — it only cuts nanometers deep

  • No need for antibiotics

  • Can be done on infants as young as two days old

  • Maximum precision and control for the doctor.

Dr. Leslie Haller is the leading expert in laser tongue tie surgery and theraphy, to learn more about the procedure visit our dedicated site: