Tongue tie FAQs for children and adults
You can find all frequent ask questions in relation to children and tongue tie here.

1. If I or my child has a lip-tie, will I or my child have a tongue tie?
Tongue and lip ties are the result of a failure of cell death (apoptosis) along the midline of the head and neck at 12 weeks in-utero following the development of the tongue and lips in-utero. This failure of apoptosis almost always affects both the lip and tongue. For older children, more severe lip ties will result in spacing in between the 2 upper or 2 lower front teeth. 
2. What happens if we do not treat the lip or tongue tie? What are the life-long implications?
In childhood: speech difficulties, poor jaw growth /dental crowding and fussy eating are common. 
In adulthood: head and neck tension, snoring and sleep apnoea may be related
3. I think my child has a tongue tie. Is treatment always necessary?
To make a proper diagnosis, a proper functional history (discussion of any symptoms your child has had) is essential. Also, a functional assessment (observing the tongue during function), as well as palpation assessment, feeling under the tongue is necessary.
Many health professionals are not aware of the implications of not treating a tie. Often, the thought process is that providing the baby can put weight on (with difficult breast feeding, bottle feeding) then there is no point in treating. The problem is that normal tongue function is super important throughout life, and particularly during growth. The tongue drives the growth of the mid face and jaws, so a tied tongue will usually result in a narrow and small jaw with dental crowding later. Furthermore, the tongue affects overall body posture, the head and neck. It’s important in speech, swallowing and talking as well. So, if there is a tongue tie, ideally it would be treated as soon as possible to attempt to limit the chances of severe dental crowding, lack of jaw growth and other future problems.
4. Is laser different to using blades such as scissors in tongue tie surgery?
The most important factor in the success of any surgery is always going to be the operator. The operator must have done the necessary training to ensure competence and must have had plenty of experience to give a better chance of success. Dr Le is trained by The Tongue Tie Institute, has performed numerous tongue and lips tie release for infants, children and adults.
In relation to laser vs scissors:
A laser “ablates” (vaporises) the tissue. It does not cut or crush the tissue like scissors. It also seals nerve endings to reduce immediate post-op pain and helps to coagulate to reduce bleeding. A laser is extremely accurate. In the hands of an experienced operator like Dr Le, laser gets the job done with minimal trauma to adjacent tissues.
5. What will happen at the appointments?
Visit 1: consultation only
This visit is about 30 minutes where we will assess the severity of your restriction based on presentation, signs and symptoms related to tongue and lip ties.
Patient or parents would already receive some important documents with lots of information to prepare you for your consultation.
We will give you the material for the Face games, an 8 weeks exercise program for children and adults to do in conjunction with Frenectomy. For a better outcome, this is a must if you are NOT under the care of a body worker or a Myobrace dentist.
Visit 2: frenectomy, 4 weeks after visit 1 
Visit 3: 1-week review (FREE of charge)


6. The treatment
We will apply a small amount of our strong numbing cream followed by a small dose of local anaesthetic to the area of concern prior to laser treatment. This ensures that the patient does not feel a thing during the procedure. Once it is numb, it takes about 1 minute to release the tongue/lip tie with laser. Treatment will take longer, up to minutes for a more severe lip or tongue tie of an older child or adult. There is often no bleeding afterwards, no sutures needed.
Patient should take pain killers like Paracetamol (Panadol) for the next two days, first dose starts before the numbness wears away, then every 4 hours for the two days, to a maximum 8 tablets every 24 hours. Patient may take this pain killer again 1 hour before performing stretches from day 3 to day 5.
Children can go to school the day after and adults can go back to work the same day.  Eating is as normal.
It is important to note that a small amount of bleeding is typical a few days following treatment and is not of concern.
7. Pre and After care for children and adults:
Face games: patient should do 4 weeks Pre-operative and 4 weeks Post-operative exercise, this is to form a new neuromuscular pathway to get full use of the new and un-restricted tongue and/or lip.  We do offer this exercise program for free to all our patients.
For even a better functional result from a Frenectomy (tongue and/or lip tie laser release), patient should do an 8 weeks exercise program (4 weeks before and 4 weeks after release) of Orofacial Myofunctional therapy with a qualified Oral Myofunctional Therapist.
For the very best result, patient would need to be on Myobrace treatment and the Frenectomy is perform after patient has done the Tongue suction and hold exercise for 4 weeks.

Patients who have suffered from neck and shoulder pain should continue to see their regular body worker health practitioner: Chiropractor, Physiotherapist or Osteopath for the next 4 weeks to make the most out of the release of the tongue and/or lip tie release.
Patients who have persistent speech problems should see a Speech and Language Pathologist who have been trained and have experience with tongue tie patients to further improve their speech.
8. Stretching exercise to promote proper healing 
We recommended to do stretch for the area by applying repeated, gentle but firm pressure. Stretches should be done for 3 seconds, 3 times a day, for 3 weeks. This is then cut down to 2 times a day in the 4th week and completely stopped at the end of week 4 after laser release of the frenum restriction.
These exercises are important to minimizing the reattachment of the frenum to its original position. 
It is normal to see a diamond shape, whitish patch for up to 2 weeks from the release until the new skin fully heal.

The time it takes to see a noticeable change in functionality varies from patient to patient, from almost immediately to a few months following treatment. 


9. Is this treatment covered under Medicare?
The consultation and procedure are both considered “dental treatment”, so they are not covered under Medicare. However, for private health insurance, the following item numbers are used:
• 014 (consultation)
• 391 (per frenectomy)
10. Are there any restrictions on travel or other activities after surgery?
There are minimal restrictions on travel or other activity after surgery. However, carers should bear in mind that our active wound management protocol requires stretches to be performed 6 hours after surgery and every 8 hours for 3 weeks post-treatment, then every 12 hours in the 4th week. In general, it is best to take things easy in the first couple of days post-surgery and we advise against swimming for 7 days.

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