Tongue-tie is a birth defect that occurs when the strip of skin (lingual frenulum) connecting a baby’s tongue to the floor of their mouth is shorter than usual. Typically, this strip of skin separates before birth, allowing the tongue free range of motion. With tongue-tie, the lingual frenulum remains attached to the bottom of the tongue.

Tongue-tie is a very common condition that, if addressed quickly, will not hinder a child’s development. However, if left untreated, tongue-tie can result in malnourishment, speech difficulty, or poor oral hygiene.

Signs of tongue-tie include:

  • Restriction of the tongue’s movement, making it harder to breastfeed
  • Difficulty lifting the tongue up or moving it from side to side
  • Difficulty sticking the tongue out
  • The tongue looks notched or heart-shaped when stuck out

Treatment of Tongue-Tie

The treatment of tongue-tie for infants is a simple surgical procedure called a frenectomy. At our office, we use a CO2 laser to remove that excess tissue causing the tongue tie. Stitches are not necessary and there is no bleeding involved. We use a topical jelly to numb the skin and the procedure takes under 1 minute! 

After removal of the Tongue-Tie, we recommend exercises for our patients at home to prevent re-attachment of the tissue. Follow-up with a Myofunctional Therapist or Speech Therapist is recommended.

Dr. Rhoads recieved training to remove tongue ties at the Batson Children's Hospital in Jackson MS. He continued his training under Dr. Richard Baxter at the Alabama Tongue Tie Center in Birmingham.

Tongue Tie Photo