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What Are Tongue Ties and Lip Ties? Are They Different?

Tongue tie patient

Parents tend to have endless questions, especially when it comes to the well-being of their little ones. Among the many concerns that may arise throughout this journey are tongue ties and lip ties – two conditions that can affect a baby’s ability to breastfeed, latch, and even speak as they grow. While these issues can go unnoticed, they can profoundly impact a child’s early development and leave parents wondering about the differences between the two conditions. Put simply, tongue ties impact the tongue’s mobility, whereas lip ties can affect both the tongue and lips. 

At Union City Oral Surgery Group, our talented oral surgeons are adept at treating tongue and lip ties in patients of all ages. We take a patient-first approach to every treatment plan and will work with you to determine the best path forward to treat your child’s oral health concerns. Our team prioritizes painless procedures and can provide a smooth treatment and recovery process.

What Is the Difference Between Tongue Ties and Lip Ties?

While both tongue ties and lip ties impact the frenulum, the connective tissue between the lips, tongue, and gums. When the frenulum is too short or stiff, it can affect your baby’s ability to breastfeed, gain weight, and stick their tongue out. Tongue ties and lip ties are similar conditions, yet there are key differences that can impact your child, making it critical to understand the difference. 

Tongue Ties 

A tongue tie occurs when the frenulum that connects the tongue to the bottom of the mouth is either too thick, short, or deformed. Tongue ties can cause health complications. Children with tongue ties can have challenges feeding and swallowing; in some cases, the condition may even affect their speech.

Lip Ties

While a tongue tie impacts the frenulum between the bottom of the mouth and the tongue, children with lip ties have a frenulum that extends down to the gum. In addition to issues with feeding, a lip tie can cause complications with tooth development. Sometimes, they can restrict teeth from growing, cause misalignment, and quicken tooth decay.

How to Treat Tongue and Lip Ties

A simple surgery known as a frenectomy, which removes or reduces an abnormal frenulum, is the most popular and effective treatment for tongue ties and lip ties. The procedure is worth considering in cases of restricted lip or tongue movement, especially if it is causing your child discomfort, pain, or other health concerns. 

A frenectomy can be performed quickly, and the recovery time is short. The surgeon will numb the area and make a small incision in the frenulum to either remove it or make it smaller. Sometimes, the surgeon will use laser technology for the procedure, which shortens recovery time and reduces the risk of complications. Follow any postoperative instructions to ensure the best results and quickest possible recovery.

Schedule an Appointment With a Skilled Oral Surgeon at Union City Oral Surgery Group

If your child is suffering from tongue ties or lip ties, it is essential to contact a talented oral surgeon without delay. At Union City Oral Surgery Group, our founder, Dr. Nancy Herbst, has over 25 years of experience treating patients of all ages. We use state-of-the-art technology to provide the highest level of care in a comfortable setting. When you contact our office, we will ensure you and your child are supported through every stage of the treatment process. 

To schedule an appointment with a first-class oral surgeon, call us today at (201) 601-9262 or complete our online contact form today.