Welcome to the Wisconsin Tongue-Tie Center

A part of BKS Dental Group, the Wisconsin Tongue-Tie Center was created to help children and adults find immediate relief from tongue-tie symptoms and treatment for problems they cause down the line. Not only do we focus on dental health but overall health. With tongue-tie surgery, we’re able to help our patients improve their oral health and their lives.

Immediate Tongue-Tie Relief in 3 Easy Steps

Children and adults exhibit different symptoms of having tongue-tie, however, both can benefit from the surgery. If you recognize any of the symptoms in yourself or your child, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent further problems down the line.

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1. Recognize Symptoms

Both children and adults can show symptoms of tongue-tie that can have long-term effects.

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2. Request Appointment

Find out if tongue-tie treatment is right for you or your child at The Wisconsin Tongue Tie Center.

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3. Improve Life

Tongue-tie surgery provides makes immediate improvements and prevents future problems from occurring.

Myofunctional Therapists

Jessica Milbrath: OMT Certificate through the IAOM

Jessica Milbrath: OMT Certificate through the IAOM

Jess is a Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH) with over four years of experience in the dental field.  Jess started her career at BKS Dental in 2016 as an Administrative Assistant while attending Dental Hygiene Program at Madison Area Technical College (MATC).  She graduated from MATC with her Associate of Health Sciences in Dental Hygiene degree in 2019, and immediately started practicing dental hygiene here at BKS Dental. Jess attended Minnesota State University, Mankato and obtained her Bachelors of Science in Dental Hygiene. In June of 2020, Jess received her Oral Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) certificate through the International Association of Orofacial Myology (IAOM).  She now enjoys treating patients of all ages who suffer from orofacial myofunctional disorders.  Jess is a lifelong resident of Jefferson, and is a self-proclaimed Disney enthusiast.  She knows and LOVES all things Disney.  Her favorite vacation spot is, you guessed it, Walt Disney World! Not only can Jess answer all of your Disney related questions, she is a talented artist who can draw any Disney character of your choosing!

Stephennie Gerondale: OMT Certificate through the IAOM

Steph is a Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH) with over 37 years of experience in the dental field.  She graduated from Madison Area Technical College (MATC) with her Associate of Health Sciences in Dental Hygiene degree in 1994.  Steph has been practicing dental hygiene at BKS Dental since 1998.  In June of 2020, Steph received her Oral Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) certificate through the International Association of Orofacial Myology (IAOM).  She now enjoys treating patients of all ages who suffer from orofacial myofunctional disorders.  Steph is a lifelong resident of Fort Atkinson, and is known and loved throughout our community as a “social butterfly.”  When Steph is not treating patients at BKS Dental, you will commonly find her at community sponsored events, spreading her contagious laughter and fun-loving joy to anyone she meets.

Stephennie Gerondale: OMT Certificate through the IAOM

Lactation Consultants

Jenny

Jenny Howe: Certified Lactation Counselor through the ALPP

Jenny has been a dental assistant at BKS Dental for over 21 years. She began the journey to learn about tethered oral tissues (TOTS) with Dr. Bender and Dr. Stafford in 2017. Since this time, Jenny has taken courses throughout the U.S. and Canada to learn more about how tongue and lip ties affect infants, children, and adults. Several notable course completions are the Chrysalis Orofacial TOTS course serries and the Healthy Children Project Center for Breastfeeding Lactation Counselor Training Course. In January of 2021 Jenny received her certification through the Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice (ALPP) as a CLC (certified lactation counselor). Jenny loves her new role as a CLC, and enjoys helping mothers and babies be able to thrive in their breastfeeding journey. Jenny states “this is by far the most rewarding part of my job.” Jenny is a lifelong resident of the Jefferson/Fort Atkinson area. Outside of work she loves to travel anywhere warm with her family and friends. Even though she doesn’t like to run, she has finished multiple half marathons, a full marathon, and a half iron man.

Sara Biddick: Lactation Consultant working on CLC through the ALPP

Sara has been a dental assistant for almost 30 years.  She started out as a dental assistant in pediatrics before switching to general dentistry.  Sara joined BKS Dental in 2019, where she immediately began learning about tethered oral tissues (TOTS) with Dr. Bender and Dr. Stafford.  Since this time, Sara has taken courses throughout the U.S. to learn more about how tongue and lip ties affect infants, children, and adults.  Several notable course completions are the Chrysalis Orofacial TOTS course serries and the Healthy Children Project Center for Breastfeeding Lactation Counselor Training Course.  Sara is working towards receiving her certification through the Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice (ALPP) as a CLC (certified lactation counselor).  Sara states “the most satisfying part of my job is watching a mom overcome a breastfeeding struggle and achieving success in helping a baby thrive.”  Sara grew up in Southwest Wisconsin in Cuba City before moving to Janesville in 1998.  She lives there with her husband and three daughters.  In her free time, she enjoys playing volleyball, spending time with family and friends, and cheering her daughters on in the sports they love.

Sara

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Recognizing the Symptoms of Tongue-Tie

Children and adults exhibit different symptoms of having tongue-tie, however, both can benefit from the surgery. If you recognize any of the symptoms in yourself or your child, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent further problems down the line.

Symptoms in infants

  • 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 
  • Tongue can’t reach the roof of the mouth 
  • Tongue won’t stick out past the gums

Symptoms in Older Children & Adults

  • 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

Effects of Untreated Tongue-Tie

When a tongue-tie goes untreated it can have serious effects on both infants and adults. To start, infants might stop breastfeeding altogether. As the infant grows into a child, they may struggle to eat solid foods, develop speech later than others, and experience dental hygiene difficulties. Children can also develop all of the symptoms listed above as they grow into adulthood.

Tongue-Tie Surgery (Frenectomy)

If you suspect you or your child could benefit from a tongue tie surgery, please start by scheduling a consultation with us. During your consultation, we will determine if the surgery is necessary.

The surgery itself is a simple procedure. We use a dental laser, the LightScapel C02 soft tissue laser to cut the frenulum free to allow the tongue to move in a free range of motion. Since we use a dental laser, only small amounts of localized anesthesia are necessary to complete the treatment with little discomfort. It also reduces bleeding during the procedure and promotes a faster healing time than traditional methods. Stitches may be required; however, this is based on case needs.

Although the treatment causes minimal discomfort, we recommend for patients to avoid spicy, sharp, and acidic foods for the first 72 hours post-surgery. If there is any discomfort or pain, patients should take over the counter pain relievers. During the healing process, a white scab will form. Continue to brush and floss as normal and avoid messing with the scab. Patients will fully recover in 7 to 10 days.
Yes! Your baby should feel well enough within an hour to begin feeding again.

Frequently Asked Questions

A tongue-tie, or Tethered Oral Tissue (TOT), is the mucous membrane that connects the middle undersurface of the tongue to the roof of the mouth. The Mucous membrane is called a frenulum.
A lip tie is a mucous membrane that connects the upper lip to the gum tissue. When the frenulum is too thick, it can restrict the movement of the lips.
No, adults who never treated their tongue or lip tie as children can also benefit from the surgery.
Yes, sometimes the frenulum can loosen itself naturally to free the tongue. Please visit us for an evaluation to determine if surgery is right for you or your child.
A dental laser provides the most comfort for our patients. Its heat doesn’t affect deeper tissues and promotes a faster healing time. In addition, it reduces the risk of infection since it cauterizes the area.
If you or your child need a frenectomy and don’t receive it, it can affect overall oral health and lead to other issues down the road like speech problems, sleep apnea, TMJ, cavities, and much more.