At the Wisconsin Tongue-Tie Center as part of the BKS Dental Group, we’re committed to helping parents identify tongue-tie in their infants and young children so they can get treatment before it causes development problems. To help answer some of your questions about tongue-tie, we compiled a list of our top FAQs.

If you still have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact our office at (920) 563-7323 to learn more.

happy little baby

What Are Tongue-Ties?

Tongue-tie, or Tethered Oral Tissue (TOT), is a condition that prevents full mobility of the tongue. The lingual frenulum connects the bottom of the tongue to the bottom of the mouth, and in the case of a tongue tie, that tissue is too thick or too tight. As a result, the tongue cannot move in a full range of motion which can lead to a number of issues that can affect oral function and development.

Are Tongue-Ties Serious?

Yes! Without treatment, infants can experience difficulty breastfeeding which can lead to malnourishment. Additionally, it can result in development problems that can lead to poor oral health, TMJ disorders, sleep disorders, behavioral issues, speech impediments, and much more. Leaving tongue-tie untreated in children can lead to serious health complications down the line. Patients should get the procedure for their children as soon as possible to prevent complications.

What are the Symptoms?

Tongue-tie has different symptoms for different age groups. For instance, the symptoms in infants include:

  • Difficulty latching when breastfeeding
  • Chews more than suckles
  • Difficulty gaining weight
  • Acts fussy when feeding
  • Feeds for long periods with short periods of rest between
  • Acts hungry often
  • Makes clicking sounds when feeding
  • Tongue can’t move side-to-side
  • The tongue can’t reach the roof of the mouth
  • Tongue won’t stick out past the gums

Symptoms in older children and adults include:

  • Tongue appears heart-shaped or notched when stuck out
  • Tongue can’t stick out further than lower front teeth
  • Cannot move the tongue to the roof of the mouth or side-to-side
  • Speech problems such as a lisp
  • Tongue interferes with speaking, eating, or reaching back teeth
  • Poor oral health
  • Experiences TMJ
  • Has sleep apnea
  • Gapped or crowded teeth
  • Overbite

If you or your child experience any of these symptoms, please schedule an appointment at Wisconsin Tongue-Tie Center by calling (920) 563-7323.

What Types of Breastfeeding Issues Will Mothers Experience?

Both mother and baby may experience symptoms. Breastfeeding mothers will experience one or several of the following symptoms if their child has a tongue-tie.

  • Painful feeding
  • Sore, dry, cracked nipples
  • Distorted or compressed nipple (may resemble a wedge shape like lipstick)
  • Engorged, blocked milk ducts from mastitis due to ineffective milk removal
  • Low milk production
  • Oversupply of milk if baby nurses more frequently because they can’t feed enough
  • Frustration, tiredness, and discouragement
  • Prematurely ending breastfeeding

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, your baby might have a tongue-tie. We recommend visiting us for an evaluation as soon as possible. After a frenectomy, your baby should be able to breastfeed normally and your symptoms should go away.

What is the Treatment For Tongue-Ties?

The treatment for tongue-ties is a frenectomy. A frenectomy involves using a dental laser, the Lightscapel CO2 soft tissue laser to release the tongue-tie. We use local anesthesia to ensure there is minimal discomfort during the procedure. The procedure is fast and requires no aftercare aside from keeping an eye on the procedure site to make sure it doesn’t get infected.

Can Tongue-Ties Grow Back?

No. There is no known case of the tongue-tie growing back. In very rare cases, it can reattach itself, but this is highly unlikely.

When is a Tongue-Tie Revision Necessary?

Tongue-tie is necessary when the tongue cannot move in a full range of motion and it’s causing function problems. If you’re not sure whether it’s necessary for you or your child, please visit us for a consultation to learn more.

Does The Procedure Hurt?

No. We use local anesthesia to numb the area and a soft tissue laser to minimize discomfort.

What Happens After the Procedure?

Babies can start breastfeeding an hour after the procedure and all other ages can go about with their normal lives. If the procedure was performed on older children or adults, they may require further treatments to reverse the damage caused by an untreated tongue-tie. Our dentists will discuss her recommendations during your consultation.

Get Tongue-Tie Revision in Fort Atkinson Today

If you suspect that you or a loved one have a tongue-tie and you’re suffering from the symptoms, the Wisconsin Tongue-Tie Center can help. Simply schedule a consultation by calling (920) 563-7323 so we can provide an examination and recommendation for treatment. Tongue-tie surgery is a fast, painless procedure that can change one’s life. Contact our dental office today to get started.