Dental Care


Tongue-Tie Dentist & Tethered Oral Tissues Treatment

Many children and even adults struggle with tethered oral tissues (TOTs), such as tongue-tie or lip-tie. Both of these conditions are oral abnormalities that cause a number of uncomfortable symptoms.

At Beyond Smiles of Park Ridge, we understand how tethered oral tissues affect daily life for patients, influencing everything from the way they speak and eat to their dental health. That’s why we utilize our knowledge and experience to provide diagnostic services and reliable treatment for both kids and adults.

Continue reading to learn more about tongue-tie and lip-tie, and how our family dentist in Park Ridge, IL, can help.

What Is Tongue-Tie?

Tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, occurs when the band of tissue that tethers the bottom of the tongue to the floor of the mouth, known as the lingual frenulum, is too stiff or short. This restricts the tongue’s range of movement.

What Is Lip-Tie?

Lip-tie is a condition where the tissue that tethers the bottom and upper lips to the gums, known as the lip frenulum, is too stiff, short, or thick. This limits movement of the lip and can make it difficult for infants to breastfeed.

Signs & Symptoms

For children and adults, signs of tongue-tie and lip-tie can vary. However, common symptoms include:

  • Difficulty speaking (such as speech impediments or trouble saying certain words or sounds)
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Gaps between teeth (especially the front teeth)
  • Dental issues (such as cavities) due to poor oral hygiene
  • Pain due to chronic muscle tension in the shoulders, neck, and jaw (caused by limited movement of the tongue)
  • TMJ disorders
  • Fatigue caused by difficulty sleeping
  • Sleep apnea
  • Poor orofacial development (such as hindered jaw growth, malocclusion, facial asymmetry, etc.)
  • Infants experience trouble breastfeeding
  • Notched or heart-shaped tongue appearance

Long-Term Side Effects of Tethered Oral Tissues in Children

In children, untreated tongue and lip-ties can lead to poor orofacial development, frustration at mealtimes, and speech delays. These side effects can impact social interactions and self-esteem.

Additionally, many babies encounter issues such as colic, acid reflux, or even struggle to gain weight due to poor nutrition. This is usually a direct result of breastfeeding difficulties caused by the tethered tissue. For example, babies who can’t latch will fail to get enough milk. Other children may take in too much air while nursing.

Early detection by a skilled children’s dentist specializing in tongue-tie and lip-tie can go a long way in protecting kids’ health and wellbeing. Proper growth and development of the craniofacial structures is dependent on tongue and lip movement and mobility.

If you suspect your child may have one of these conditions, contact our lip and tongue-tie dentist in Park Ridge today.

Long-Term Side Effects of Tethered Oral Tissues in Adults

For adults, tethered tissues can cause speech difficulties, clenching and grinding habits, breathing problems, and even discomfort or pain. Chronic headaches and sleep apnea can also result from untreated lip or tongue-tie.

If you’re suffering from the symptoms of oral tethered tissues, visit us at Beyond Smiles for effective, personalized treatment.

Treating Tongue-Tie & Lip-Tie

The approach to treating tethered tissues is determined by the extent of the condition and symptom severity. In certain instances, no treatment is necessary, as symptoms gradually improve with time and age.

Oral myofunctional therapy may help increase mobility of the tongue to improve function. Our myofunctional therapist works with patients big and small to train the tongue muscles and develop better movement.

Severe cases often require a surgical treatment known as a frenectomy. A frenectomy is an oral surgery procedure that involves cutting or modifying the frenulum tissue. This improves mobility of the lip or tongue.

The procedure is performed with great precision and care. Our team at Beyond Smiles, led by an experienced lip and tongue-tie surgery dentist, uses the latest techniques to minimize discomfort and recovery time.

Tongue exercises and speech therapy may be recommended in place of surgery or following it to help retrain the muscles.

Why Choose Beyond Smiles of Park Ridge

At Beyond Smiles, we dedicate ourselves to providing the highest standard of care to our pediatric and adult patients. We offer a holistic approach to treatment, always considering all aspects of oral health and its impact on each patient’s overall wellbeing.

We also believe in building lasting relationships with our patients and their families. We take the time to understand individual concerns, discuss procedure options, and provide personalized treatment.

Patients of all ages are welcomed and valued at our dental office. Whether you’re dealing with the effects of tethered tissues or seeking general dental care, our team is here to support you.

Contact Us

Don’t let tongue-tie or lip-tie hold you back from enjoying a healthy, comfortable life. Contact Beyond Smiles of Park Ridge to schedule an appointment with our team. You can depend on our family and children’s dentists for tongue-tie and lip-tie treatment options.

Our goal is to provide effective relief and functional improvement through minimally invasive techniques. We apply compassion, experience, and skill when treating complex conditions that affect oral function. We also aim to make every appointment a stress-free experience for both new and returning patients.

Call us at (847) 292-2700 or contact us online today.


If you want to make an appointment, call or write to us today!