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What is Lip and Tongue Tie?

What is Lip and Tongue Tie?

Lip and tongue tie affects around 5% of Australian newborns. Tongue tie is a condition in which the thin or thick piece of skin under your child’s tongue is abnormally short. That abnormal growth may then restrict the movement of the tongue tip or the body of the tongue. 

A lip tie is where a piece of the skin under your child’s upper lip (labial frenulum) is very short or thick and is pinned too tightly to the upper gum – preventing sufficient flanging of the lip. 

At KIDS, our mission is to help everyone get the best possible bond together! By helping you and your newborn with lip and tongue tie issues, we want to give everyone a healthy start to life – just like you. While ideally treated in infancy, we are firm believers in the fact that it’s never too late to benefit from a lip and tongue tie treatment. 

What is the Effect of Tongue and Lip Tie?

Restrictions such as lip and tongue ties can affect far more than your child’s mouth. In the short term, lip and tongue tie can interfere with your child’s feeding and cause development issues. If not properly treated, lip and tongue tie can cause long-term speech difficulties and distress when eating certain types of food – which could then impact your child’s nutrition, comfort, and self-confidence.   

The following are some more symptoms we may experience:




  • Poor latch, unable to sustain a latch       
  • Colic & excessive gassiness
  • The baby often loss suction whilst feeding and sucks in air      
  • Reflux
  • Difficulty with adequate milk intake                                             
  • Poor weight gain                                   
  • A clicking sound may be heard whilst the baby is feeding           
  • Falling asleep on the breast
  • Extended nursing episodes                                                           
  • Unable to develop a deep enough latch
  • Early weaning from the breast                                                      
  • Tongue cannot be moved sideways                       
  • Tongue cannot protrude beyond the baby’s lips                            
  • Tongue tip may be notched or heart-shaped
  • Restricted mobility interferes with bottle feeding                        
  • Gap between the front teeth
  • When extended, the tongue tip may look flat or square instead of pointed
  • Difficult for babies to attach to the breast or bottle correctly as it is harder for them to maintain a good seal
  • Restrict movement of the upper lip preventing it from being able to flange or ‘pull out’

  • Inability to chew age appropriate solid foods
  • Gagging, choking or vomiting foods
  • Persisting food fads
  • Difficulties related to dental hygiene
  • Persistence of dribbling
  • Delayed development of speech
  • Deterioration in speech
  • Behaviour problems
  • Dental problems starting to appear
  • Loss of self confidence because they feel and sound ‘different’
  • Airway issues
  • Mouth breathing
  • Snoring
  • Inability to open the mouth widely affects speech and eating habits.
  • Always having to watch their speech
  • Inability to speak clearly when talking fast/loud/soft
  • Difficulty talking after even moderate amount of alcohol
  • Clicky and/or painful jaws
  • Migraines
  • Protrusion of the lower jaws
  • Multiple effects in work situations.
  • Effects on social situations, eating out, kissing, relationships
  • Dental health, a tendency to have inflamed gums, and increased need for fillings and extractions
  • Sensitivity about personal appearance
  • Emotional factors resulting in rising level of stress
  • Tongue tie in the elderly often makes it difficult to keep a denture in place.

If you answered 'yes', that may mean you or you or your child have a restricted frenum, commonly known as a lip and tongue tie. Don't worry, it's nothing unusual! In fact, it occurs in approximately 5% of newborns.

Visit Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) to find out more about breastfeeding issues related to lip and tongue ties.

Even though having you or your child diagnosed as a newborn gives them the best start as they will adjust quicker, it can be diagnosed in a child of any age. In some cases, children can learn to function with the tie. In other cases, whenever lip-tie symptoms persist, treatment is required. Getting a professional to review your or your child will help provide you with answers regarding if your child is indeed in need of a tie correction.

How is the lip & tongue tie undertaken?

How is it done? Well, we have great news, as the lip and tongue correction treatment is done in-office and doesn't require any sedation during early infancy. This means, that it may be less traumatic and non-memorable for your child. We want to give your baby the best start in life and that is why at KIDS we take total care of you and your baby.

We love to see you, your infants and families in our practice, and we will do our very best to fit you in as quickly as possible.

How is Lip or Tongue Tie Treated? 

Because we care about you and your baby so much, we would never let them be treated by someone you don’t know anything about. Let us introduce you to Dr. Hany, an experienced professional who will do his best to improve your baby’s health and quality of life. 

As our lip and tongue tie specialist, Dr. Hany has been successfully treating tongue tie and lip tie in infants, children, and adults using laser-assisted surgery for over 15 years. 

A lip-tie treatment involves a procedure called a lip-tie reversal, or frenectomy. This minimally invasive surgical procedure is minimally painful for your infant or child and only takes a few minutes.

If necessary, tongue-tie can be treated with a precise surgical cut to release the frenulum (frenotomy). If additional repair is needed or the lingual frenulum is too thick for a frenotomy, a more extensive procedure known as a frenuloplasty might be an option for your child.

Dr. Hany is the only licensed LASER user with the extensive knowledge necessary to perform these procedures in the Mackay, Isaac, Rockhampton, and Central Highlands regions – as well as surrounding communities.

At KIDS, we love to see you, your infant, and families in our practice. To accommodate your busy schedule, our team will do our very best to fit your child in as quickly as possible! 

*Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner. 

Lip & Tongue Tie Laser Treatment vs. Scissors

Laser frenectomy is a quick and virtually painless procedure that utilizes a laser to release the frenulum attaching a patient's tongue or lip to the rest of the mouth.

The traditional treatment method for years has been the use of scissors to facilitate the tissue's release. However, with new laser technology available, at DentalCareXtra and KIDS we are able to perform the same procedure much quicker and with less pain than traditional methods.

In addition to less pain and a faster procedure, here are some of the other benefits that come with the use of laser in frenectomy:

  • Less bleeding
  • Lowered chance of infection
  • No stitches / quicker healing
  • Reduced scarring
  • Much higher chance of success and lower chance of regrowth

Call Us Today

If you would like to learn more about lip and tongue ties or book your child a consultation for frenectomy of the lip and/or tongue tie, contact our paediatric dental office in Mackay, QLD today!


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KIDS – Healthy Kids Nurtured by Nature

p:(07) 4942 5111


a: 6 Discovery Lane, Mackay QLD 4740

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Tuesday 9:00am to 5:00pm
Wednesday 9:00am to 5:00pm
Thursday 9:00am to 5:00pm
Friday 9:00am to 3:00pm
Saturday – CLOSED
Sunday – CLOSED

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