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Tongue Tie Clinic

The Heal Tongue and Lip Tie Clinic

At Heal we offer laser tongue and lip tie releases for all ages, from infants with feeding difficulties, to children with speech and jaw growth problems, all the way through to adults with head and neck tension and snoring. On certain days of the week we have dedicated infant tongue and lip tie clinics. We are passionate about correcting this common problem as early as possible in life.

So What Exactly is a Tongue or Lip Tie?

It is a congenital abnormality which decreases the mobility of the tongue or lip. The frenum (the bit that causes the tie) is a normal part of anatomy, but it can be too thick, too short, or attached in the wrong place. Defective frenums lead to a restriction in the range of motion of the tongue or lip.

What are Common Symptoms of Tongue and Lip Ties?

There are many symptoms which you might be surprised to learn are related to this problem. Symptoms are not just evident during early infancy and childhood. Our tongue functions throughout life and so some symptoms can continue in the long term.

The wheel below shows the most common related symptoms. Please note that a tongue tie can affect the individual throughout life. Good tongue function is not just for breastfeeding, and lack of functional breastfeeding can lead to crooked teeth. Other symptoms can range from snoring to getting tired during speaking and eating, to head and neck pains and postural issues.

To download research showing how breastfeeding reduces the chance of crooked teeth click the PDF link below:

Breastfeeding and Malocclusion Breastfeeding and Malocclusion (28 KB)

How is Tongue and Lip Tie Diagnosed?

 Tongue or lip ties present in many different shapes and forms. It is essential that whoever is diagnosing the tie has been well trained in looking for them. Dr Dan Hanson, one of Heal’s founders is also co-founder of the Tongue Tie Institute. This organisation assists with training of dentists, doctors, manual therapists, lactation consultants, mid-wives and other professionals involved in diagnosis and treatment of Oral Restrictions.

A thorough visual examination as well as complete investigation of the functional challenges, symptoms and manual palpation examination of the mouth are all necessary to make an accurate diagnosis.

How is it corrected at Heal?

 A tongue or lip tie release, sometimes called a frenectomy is performed using a medical laser. If the patient is a baby, diagnosis is done in conjunction with a lactation consultant, or mid-wife who will be present on the same day as the appointment. It is a quick procedure, performed in the dental chair. However, there is an extensive consultation prior to the procedure.

At Heal, we pride ourselves in treating our guests as effectively as possible. For that reason we work closely with local body workers, such as chiropractors, and osteopaths in order to help release tension in the head and neck region, before and after the surgery. This inter-disciplinary approach helps to ensure that a whole body approach is taken. The tongue and lip muscles are not isolated structures, and so dysfunction within them leads to compensatory actions elsewhere in the head and neck region.

What to do if you suspect a tie

 Step 1: Call our clinic on 07 5520 1324

Step 2: We will provide you will all the information you need for your circumstances

Step 3: We will help you to book the appropriate consultation

How successful is the treatment?

 Providing there is thorough removal of the restrictive attachment, many of the challenges with proper feeding (for infants) can be reduced in the vast majority of cases, providing our post operative instructions are fully adhered to. These instructions include:

  • seeing a body worker (chiropractor, osteopath, physiotherapist)
  • post-operative stretches to help reduce chances of re-attachment
  • myofunctional exercises before and after the procedure (for children and adults)
  • keeping in close contact with a lactation consultant (for babies)

Research suggests that releasing the tongue tie can improve muscle function

To download research in relation to this click the PDF link below:

Frenulectomy and Muscle Activity Frenulectomy and Muscle Activity (117 KB)

Further research indicates that tongue tie adversely affects breastfeeding and that release of the restriction can help with breastfeeding

To download research in relation to this click the PDF link below:

Tongue Tie and Breastfeeding Difficulty Tongue Tie and Breastfeeding Difficulty (45 KB)

To download research in relation to this click the PDF link below:

Tongue Tie Release Can Help Breastfeeding Tongue Tie Release Can Help Breastfeeding (52 KB)

How does the laser remove the restriction?

 Laser surgery allows a layer by layer, thorough removal of the attachment of lip and/or tongue tie.It is a relatively quick and straightforward process, not requiring general anaesthetics, sutures or oral medications.

Lasers are an excellent alternative to scissors or a scalpel as a means to alter soft tissue. In laser terms the tissue is “ablated”. Light energy is used to remove tissue rather than cutting with scissors or scalpels.

Are there advantages to using a laser?

  • laser is bactericidal (kills bacteria as it ablates)
  • reduces oedema, swelling and inflammation
  • may allow for better healing through the concept of photobiomodulation

An important factor in success is the skill and experience of the operator. Our Tongue and Lip Tie Clinic, is a big part of what we do. Our operators generally work on anything between 3 and 10 tongue and lip ties each week, with Dr Dan doing 10 to 15 procedures. Therefore, it is a procedure that we are used to doing frequently. We are passionate about excellency in all areas of our work.

To read more about infant tongue tie treatments click here

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